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Ghosts Come to Life on New EP from Louisville's Brooks Ritter

Will Cravens

Louisville-based singer-songwriter Brooks Ritter has returned with his newest collection of songs since 2016's Stereo of Steel. It is a 5-track EP called Ghosts Come to Life, an appropriate title as the record is filled with lots of spirit and lots of life. I caught up with Ritter and got to ask him a few questions about the new EP and what he's got in store for us.

It's great to hear new music from Brooks Ritter, and this new EP does not disappoint. How have you changed most as an artist since releasing Stereo of Steel in 2016?

Thank you so much for your kind words. A lot has changed since 2016, and I’ve grown so much as an artist. One of things that has changed, has been not allowing other people to dictate what my music should sound like. Having healthier boundaries when it comes to the editing process. In the last five years my musical inspiration and artists I listen to have really shifted. I still love classic rock and soul, but I’ve listened to more pop music than I ever have before and drawing inspiration from that. That being said, Ghosts Come to Life is definitely a “rock” album in sound, but I’ve really embraced my love for a great “pop chorus,” if that makes sense. My desire with Ghosts Come To Life is that my fans get to see a new side of my musical journey and where my career is headed.

Ghosts Come to Life is an evocative, thought-provoking title; what is the significance behind it?

In the journey to writing this EP, I had a lot of life experiences that influenced the title. The line, Ghosts Come To Life, actually comes from the song ‘Atone’ where you can sense more of the emotion behind it. In the context of the song the verse is, “Your mind is playing tricks on you. All your ghosts come to life into view. I am not one of those but I wear his same clothes. Your mind is playing tricks on you.” Ghosts, in this context I liken to fear. So the person in the song speaking is essentially saying “all your fears have manifested” and though you may associate me with your own fears, that’s not me. Even though it’s a pretty damn heavy theme, the song is very tongue-in-cheek at its core. Which is why this line “ghosts come to life” really stood out to me in the first place. It’s both a scary thing to have your fears in sense, realized but again so much of life has blurred lines and is listed in the “unknown” category. Embracing them can lead to growth.

You can feel the energy of the EP as soon as it begins; tell me about the recording/production process.

The production/recording process for this EP was definitely way more different than any other one of my albums. First, I had the privilege of working with my dear friend and producer, Vince Emmett; which was an honor and dream come true for me. We began with pre-production, which was Vince and I combing through about forty or so of my songs and see what stood out to both he and I. Once we chose these five songs I think it just clicked for me and from that moment I knew that this was going to be my most raw and honest project I’ve released, to date. My band and I then hit the “woodshed.” Vince would come up and sit in on our rehearsals, really producing the rehearsals, putting us in the right headspace to be able to get down to business once we’re in the studio. It was our goal from the beginning to find the truth within the songs themselves, and like many of my favorite records we were able to record live. That, I believe is what sets this EP apart from the rest of my albums, which is why you can sense the energy and truth of five musicians in one room working off of each other’s energy. Second, I was so happy to be part of a record label like SonaBlast, which really encouraged and supported me throughout the process. As far as recording, we had the chance to go down to Nashville, TN. and record at Sound Emporium Studios and work with David Hall, and my band. Everyone who was involved with the process was all in, and without that, we wouldn’t have been able to have an EP like this.

Any new singles or content on the horizon for Ghosts Come to Life?

As of right now, I am working on a few different projects that we will share soon, but as far as ‘Ghosts Come To Life’ the EP is complete and the full project has been released. It’s available for download and streaming on all your favorite platforms. I also started a YouTube channel, where I’ll break down in more detail the writing process of many of these songs and more. I’ll throw in some covers that I’ve been loving lately. My most recent was Billie Eilish’s ‘When the Party’s Over’. She is a really gifted artist!

What more can listeners look forward to from Brooks Ritter?

Listeners can expect to see more music from me, as my musical journey continues, more shows and content coming your way. I am so excited for what this year holds and hope to continue to work towards providing amazing music and inspiration to those around me. Hopefully more collabs with folks like The Jesse Lees, wink wink. Had to throw that in there! But in all realness, I want to collaborate with other artists and join our voices in making more music that centers around love and diversity. Being a Louisville native has taught me a lot, and we have a lot of love to offer people.

Stream the Ghosts Come to Life EP on Spotify below!

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org