NYC native Dash Hammerstein releases ‘Ghost Dance’, a song taken from his album Wild Apples released earlier this year.
Second on the track listing, ‘Ghost Dance’ sets the tone for the sophisticated sound of Wild Apples. Dash Hammerstein possesses an old soul, and his music doesn’t shy away from a retro mishmash of influences; he points to The Kinks and Roxy Music in particular. His penchant for songwriting is perhaps a hand-me-down from great-grandfather Oscar Hammerstein II, but Dash’s style is truly his own, timeless with a hint of modern humour. Music is this man’s life, from his day job composing for film and commercials to his night job as a studio technician and songwriter.
‘Ghost Dance’, Dash notes, is inspired by an Apache Pow Wow that he witnessed in Santa Fe last year. Whilst the link between the song’s subject and the sound is not immediately obvious, Dash pays homage to the Pow Wow with what sounds like Pow Wow regalia in the percussion and the faint sampling of chants about a minute and ten seconds in. This song is thick with analogue-sounding effects, muffling the vocals just enough to have you listening in with even more intent, as you would to any other album fresh out of the early 70s.
Wild Apples is really a shape-shifting, time-warper of an album to lose your sense of reality to. Whilst the songs address current events, little sparks of modernity, Dash Hammerstein’s way with lyric and melody is timeless, making for a thoughtfully executed thirty-four minutes of life as only the artist knows it. ‘Ghost Dance’ and its eight sibling songs are well worth a listen.