Singled Out: Ghosts of Sunset's Afterthought

Keavin Wiggins | 02-21-2023

Singled Out: Ghosts of Sunset's Afterthought
Breathe album art

Ghosts of Sunset, John Merchant (former Dutch Henry frontman) and Todd Long (ex-The Verve Pipe), recently released their new single, "Afterthought", and to celebrate we asked John to tell us about that track, which will appear on their sophomore album, "Breathe" (out March 17th). Here is the story:

The song "Afterthought" was anything but. My partner Todd Long was inspired to write an "album opener" with similar energy to our song "Tonight" off our previous record, "No Saints in the City". Todd accessed his love for punchy, concise, pop-punk and created a riff that delivered the energy he was looking for and we began to build the song from there.

Since our tastes run from the Sex Pistols to the Beatles, our songs reflect both the under 2 minutes punch of the Pistols and Ramones, to more orchestrated arrangements that could find a home on Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds. We knew this particular song was a "don't bore us, get to the chorus" endeavor and we made every effort to streamline the music and boil it down for maximum impact. From the opening plug in (which was left on the final product) to the last decaying note, "Afterthought" was designed to stay in the passing lane at all times.

Lyrically, the tale told by "Afterthought" is pretty timeless. The put-upon, oft forgotten, "arm candy", who is seen more as an "accessory" and less of a partner. When this particular person catches the eye of the song's protagonist, while being ignored by her so-called partner, a connection takes place, and plans are made. While her significant other "works the room", the newly connected pair slip away. Who knows how long it took for her former lover to even realize she was gone, but make no mistake, she's not an "Afterthought" no more.

From the creative standpoint, inspiration for the song was found in the same question posed by writers like Joe Jackson when he asked, "Is She Really Going Out With Him" or Fountains of Wayne in "Leave the Biker". The dumbfounded expression, followed by the line, "what's up with that?". Knowing you would appreciate and celebrate this person for who they are and not what they do to improve your status or image. The escape plan is put in place, "take my hand", it's time someone appreciates you the way you deserve.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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