Filling in the Unknown

Between the known and the unknown on the Maine coast

Between the known and the unknown on the Maine coast

I have gaps in my musical education. Leaky-kayak-trying-to-push-through-coastal-ocean-waves kind of gaps. So, I can sink or I can swim. I’m swimming—sort of a slow, awkward dog paddle sometimes—but swimming. Since I put my musical passion aside and returned to it late, I am forever catching up. Luckily, I have a zest for learning—discovering, studying, and trying new things for the sheer joy of knowing stuff. For instance, out of curiosity, I took an Irish dance class once. I’m fairly certain my jig and reel skills are much more inline with the Elaine Benes dance from Seinfeld than Riverdance but that’s okay. The class was challenging and great fun. I even remember some basic steps because the instructor would sing them: “Hop, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Hop back, two, three, and back, two, three…”

The Plum Indie Blog itself has become a part of my musical learning, keeping my mind squarely in the creative space of the music and forcing me to write my way out of unknown waters. It’s both challenging and entertaining like the Irish dance class, though I’m much more comfortable making my way around a paragraph than I am around a dance floor. Of course, now I have to figure out how to get the blog out there, not just for myself but for the indie bands that I’ve dragged along with me on this musical learning journey. Toward that end, I’ve been sharing the blog in the usual social spots, which is how I found this month’s Plum Indie selection “Naive” by Knowne Ghost, a single released in 2018. I mentioned the blog in an Instagram post and Knowne Ghost quietly liked it, so I checked them out…and I am glad that I did. The North Carolina band is made up of Bobby Thomas, drums; John Youngblood; lead guitar; Jordan Daugherty, bass; and Cade Ratcliff, vocals, rhythm guitar, and piano. According to their Bandcamp page, Ratcliff also recorded, mixed, and mastered the song, which is commendable from both a DIY perspective and a production one, as it’s quite well done.

“Naive” has that cool indie vibe, with a solid rhythm section doing the driving and a lush, weaving melody as a formidable copilot. I listened to a few of the band’s earlier songs, which have a different formula to them, so on “Naive” you can feel Knowne Ghost growing and learning as a band…taking their influences, filtering through them, and chucking what they don’t need to secure their own sound. Ratcliff, who also wrote the lyrics, engages his vocal range on “Naive” to a pleasing effect and I’m right in there singing along with him. I particularly like his line, “Years of others have been where you’re sitting, and honestly the moment’s kind of shitty, but this is what it feels like growing up.” I get that. It fits for a young band like Knowne Ghost and it fits for a geeky, late bloomery, lifelong learner like myself. “Naive” is a satisfying, plum indie gem available on Bandcamp, etc. I’ve added it to the Plum Indie Blog playlists on Soundcloud and Spotify…add it to your collection.