Ghosts /// katie drives

Unfortunately, ghosts are not confined to the spooky season. All year round, you may encounter ghouls who take on corporeal form for the sole purpose of haunting your emotional well-being. On her latest single, “Ghosts,” Berlin, Germany-based alt-rock pop artist katie drives portrays a split dynamic between the not so dearly departed and the ex-partner they continue to haunt. Riding on a wave of defiant pop-punk energy, drives breathes new life into the breakup song by giving voice to not only the ghosted, but the radio silent ghost, too.

At first, “Ghosts” reels you in with a subtle grittiness, tamping down your expectations before giving rise to a surprisingly boppy melody. By going from a low-key, scratchy guitar intro into a combustible pop-punk surge, this track goes from solemn pondering to a confounding blitz of emotion in a blink. It reflects the ghosting phenomenon in that there’s an eruption of pent up anger from inexplicably losing all contact. 

What makes “Ghosts” unique is that it has a foot on either side of this relationship. From the get go, communication is null and it’s full of regret for stoking “hope” in another. It takes the ghost’s point of view of bailing at the drop of a hat, but also adds a vindictive flavor by claiming the ghostee “won’t find peace” without them. The colorful turns of phrase make it appear that the scorned could be filling in the blanks of a conversation they will never end up having. 

In addition, drives pours out some sorrowful vocals towards track’s end in conjunction with Los Angeles based poet and musician, Dear Me. While drives is lamenting about the painful passage of time, Dear Me drops some sharp, spoken word barbs for added punctuation. 

Clearly, “Ghosts” is not your typical break up song because it’s not in the same space of self-pity as other songs are. It’s sad, but assertive enough to not give in to wallowing in it. Striking that balance between dejected and resentful, katie drives creates a middle ground where one can rage out all of which that haunts you. 

Written by Travis Boyer

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