Little Ghost – “Best And Brightest” – Single Review
Not only is it amazing how much time can pass in between seeing someone up on our pages sometimes, but the synchronicity of when they tend to return can be equally fascinating. On a technical level, I suppose it’s fair to say that we haven’t had Little Ghost on our pages since around 2019 when reviewing the Beneath The Surface EP in March of that year, and the single “Mother Warned You” later on – both of which I’m sure I had nothing but praise for, as I still listen to Little Ghost to this very day when I have some spare time of my own. As in yes – by choice y’all – not just because listening to tunes is what I do.
And like a great many cases out there, just because a band or artist doesn’t show up on our lil’ ol’ pages here, doesn’t mean they haven’t been active. Take Little Ghost for example…since the last time we had this project up on our pages, he’s released singles like “Little Ghost Notes” and EPs like Curbwave and The Dark in between then and now…dude’s been holding his own out there and making great tunes. Like I said – I know, because I’ve been listening…here, way across the North American continent in Canada, I’ve been tuned-in to what this Nashville, Tennessee-based project has been up to & keeping tabs. Back in April of this year in fact…on the ol’ Bandcamp Friday…I made sure to fill in the gaps I had growing in the Little Ghost part of my catalog and picked up everything I didn’t have already – and it was only about last week that I ended up playing a double-shot of Little Ghost on the SBS Podcast. Did Little Ghost tune in? I have no concrete evidence of that…all I know is a week later, this project turned up back on my playlists over here with a brand-new tune called “Best And Brightest” – however that happens, whether it’s simple coincidence or clever planning in the programming of the Matrix we live in, either way, you won’t find me complaining. I love me some Little Ghost…always have since I first started listening, and I highly suspect I always will. I know I love what I’m hearing on this brand-new single that’s just been released last month…so far so good…I feel like Little Ghost is synonymous with sincerity and quality songwriting, and “Best And Brightest” is further confirmation that this band is dialed right in.
For the most part…at least as far as I understand it…what we hear in Little Ghost is centered around the musical mind of Dustin Sendejas. In the past like on records like Beneath The Surface, he’s often got a couple players in the mix along the way to assist from either in front of the studio boards or behind’em – but truly, these are generally his songs…likely brought in on a simple guitar melody and expanded with his crew of capable talents into becoming what they are in the sparkling final results. In the case of “Best And Brightest,” he’s got Steffen Prentiss Yazvac along with him this time – and from the sounds of things, you might very well be hearing this collaboration continue on for the near future ahead & the music of Little Ghost. Not only is Steffen producing here on “Best And Brightest,” but he’s also playing as well – in fact, he lays down some of the most essential vibes on this new single with how he chimes in with the synth keys every throughout the distance of this tune…you can tell Yazvac isn’t your typical everyday producer or any kind of stuffed suit & tie – this guy obviously gets the music, and understands Dustin’s vision for what Little Ghost is all about. As a result, Steffen has slid right into the remarkable sincerity that this band creates so well like he truly belongs – because that’s the case here; he truly does.
On the whole, this is by far some of Little Ghost’s most beautiful & savagely devastating melody to-date – at least, that’s the way I’m hearing it. While I never profess to know 100% about what anything is about, whether it’s music or otherwise…if I’m listening to this song correctly here…good lord…I am feeling this one hit so much closer to home than the majority of tunes I’ll likely ever hear in my life. You’ve all had that experience I’m sure…we hear those songs that speak to us on another level, like they’ve almost been written directly for us specifically…I felt like “Best And Brightest” could easily be my own anthem in that regard. If I’m hearing this right – “Best And Brightest” is actually about being past your moment in time, looking backwards on it, recognizing & waxing nostalgically on what could have been. Chances we could have taken…things we could have said…time we could have used more wisely.
Essentially, all the things that keep me awake at night and sleeping for no longer than 3-4 hours per trip to bed. I’m 41 and terrified of basically everything that Little Ghost is pointing out on “Best And Brightest” – still under the childlike illusion that perhaps my best days are still yet ahead of me. Reality suggests differently…our collective history & past suggest differently…the current way things are suggest differently…and any time I sit here and think about it all, I’m in a damn near panic. I didn’t just picture greatness for myself – I pictured success for a whole army of friends that have long fallen by the wayside as I pursued my own dreams at full-force. Hearing Dustin sing “We thought we’d become the best and brightest standing o’er what we’d achieved” was a line almost too close to home…so hard to hear that I pretty much squeezed my eyes as tightly closed as I could when I first heard it, lest a dam of tears begin to break on me. Which is…from what I can tell ya…quite often the effect of listening to Little Ghost and one of the main reasons I love this band as much as I do…the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that get expressed through their music is so undeniably vivid and real, it really does affect a person’s mood just to listen to them. I don’t mind being sad…especially if it’s provoked by music…eventually that same sadness turns to a smile in recognizing the effectiveness of songwriting that really hits the heartstrings.
Because the real crux of a song like this is right there in the contrast. Sure you can hear “Best And Brightest” as a sad, sad tune about potential that might have never been fully reached, yes – but you can also look at it as the true recognition about how much specialness genuinely existed, if only for a moment. Life to me, seems to be about whether or not you’re comfortable taking the secrets of how special we are to the grave, or damn-well doing something about it while we still have the time to. I know where I fall on that side of the argument…I don’t want to spend the rest of my days feeling like Little Ghost has so insightfully depicted in the imagery of this single. Look at this verse – ”Some days the memories confront me soon as I wake. I can picture clearly where I should have taken one more day, held my tongue, sat back and waited for the fruits of what I’d sown to come around.” I think for myself, for Little Ghost, and for a lot of you out there…we’re tired of waiting…we’re ready to make it happen, right here, right now, and we’re finding our way forwards, rather than looking back at what could have been one day in our future. Part cautionary tale, part comforting catharsis – “Best And Brightest” is a beautifully mellow & vibrant song that highlights what could be if you don’t make the most of right now. Use your time wisely my friends – or you might end up writing a song just like this one day yourself.
Find out more about Little Ghost at the official website here: https://littleghostmusic.com
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