Former Torontonian Allyson Baker has spent most of her life since the 90s playing guitar in punk, psych, surf and garage bands, but has finally taken her turn in front of the mic with her newest project, Dirty Ghosts.
Now based in San Francisco, Baker takes an unexpected musical left turn by collaborating with hip-hop artist/producer Aesop Rock and finding inspiration in a buffet of classic pop sounds. These two factors have led to an eclectic, danceable feel, with one foot still in the garage.
When the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach works best, Metal Moon sounds like little bits of all your favourite records glued together into one mutant disc. Over the course of an entire album, though, the sonic soup begins to feel a bit directionless, and it's occasionally apparent that Baker is still finding herself as a vocalist. Dirty Ghosts succeed when Baker embraces her quirkiest tendencies, which still end up sounding like pop music, but less deliberate and self-conscious than the more overworked tracks.
Top track: Surround The Controls
Dirty Ghosts play the Silver Dollar Saturday (April 14).