CD Review 

With help from locals Chad Cooke, Steve Fulton and Travis Ward, to name a few, ex-Smooth Old Fashioned High bass player Eric Ingersoll set the thoughts of human mortality that had been churning around in his brain to music. Under the moniker Night Genes, he wrote much of the lyrical content for his self-released Two Phantoms & A Holy Ghost last winter, late at night when everything was blanketed in cold and dark. A deep blue melancholy settles on the CD, seeping into even the less doleful tracks.

Everything about Ingersoll is deep: his basso voice, complex thoughts and esoteric concepts. Such is the case with the opener, "Adipose Fin," which compares farmed, genetically altered fish swimming upstream to man's often Sisyphean struggle to find love and happiness.

Several of the early tracks contain an audible turmoil, especially when Ingersoll fights his own nature. Instead of allowing his shockingly low voice to carry the stories of a small town sheriff ("Forty-Two Souls"), the demise of the newspaper industry ("4th Estate") or whatever happened to Jesus' stepfather ("Jospeh"), occasionally he reaches for unnaturally high notes and they sound strained.

But on the tracks in which Ingersoll lets his voice be what it is, the effect is almost intoxicating. I ran the final track, "English Summer," on repeat, mesmerized by Ingersoll's story of a trip to England. Contrary to the above, Ingersoll sings in falsetto in parts of the song and, weirdly enough, it isn't off-putting, it's lovely.

This sort-of-folk-rock Two Phantoms is like a meal comprised of foods you've never had before: Some of the choices may at first seem unappealing, but dig in. Something amid the cornucopia of flavors will be so much to your liking, you'll go back for seconds and thirds.

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