The awesome London-based international punk quartet Ghost Car released their fantastic album Truly Trash, comprised of 11 riotous, quick-witted garage-rock songs at the end of last year. The LP provides Ghost Car with a platform to rage against political injustices, as their unified battle cries attack patriarchal inequality, homophobia, racism and toxic relationships.
Ghost Car have recruited upcoming and established artists from around the world to take part in a remix series raising funds and awareness for Mermaids, a charity that supports the young trans community.
First up is Shamir’s electro retooling of the eruptive ‘Basta’, out today. Shamir says “Ghost Car are an incredible band that immediately brought me back to my influential favourites like The Slits and Delta 5. I was over the moon when I was asked to remix Basta, my favourite from the album. I wanted to centre that infectious shouty chorus with a gothy backdrop for my remix.”
To celebrate news of the remix, Ghost Car talk us through their album track by track.
Laura: This was the first song we wrote together post-lockdown with Cece! I wrote the lyrics about suffering from feelings of insecurity, which can manifest in other ways, for instance, jealousy. When the feeling gets overpowering. It also has a lot of significance to euphoric feelings of moving on, trusting and letting go… somehow also relevant to the sensation of freedom post-lockdown!
Clara: We feel so nostalgic about this song! By that time, we didn’t think it was our style and we were wondering why we came out with that, but it makes perfect sense. After all the disappointment with Burger, the lockdown, the horrible things going on out there, especially in other parts of the world and being far from our families and friends, writing with Cece for the first time was a blessing! She kind of saved the band! It was also realizing how important it was for us playing music as a collectable after not seeing each other for a long time and not hearing our instruments blending together. It was magical.
Cece: this song starts the new chapter of Ghost Car. It played a fundamental role in finding our way to write together and at the same time expressing all the nostalgic feelings related to not being able to do what we love the most, play and enjoy live music because of lockdown. This is probably one of the most relatable songs to me as I often get stuck in my own bad thoughts and I try to use it as a reminder to take a step back and not focus on the negative.
Clara: Cece came with that wicked bass intro and singing and we just came along! That’s when our complicity was getting stronger! We had so much fun writing this song.
Maeve: By this point, we’d definitely found our groove writing together collectively, this one’s about that person in the creative industry (I’m sure everyone knows someone) who is so overly privileged getting payouts from their parents, while other artists from working-class backgrounds have to work so much harder for any type of ‘exposure’ while doing their day job. 16% of people in creative jobs come from working-class backgrounds according to PEC.
Cece: I’ve always been fascinated by obsessive songs, the ones that despite not having major changes fascinate you with their constant rhythm which at some point starts providing a weird comfort. It’s quite an explicitly angry song and it felt cathartic to unload the emotion that inspired the song in that way. In our video, we decided to use a dinner party as a metaphor, where the guests represent ‘the system’ itself, (politicians, bourgeoisie, etc. portrayed in an exaggerated, ironic, sarcastic way) whilst ‘enjoying’ what appears to be a lavish dinner party. With fake attitudes and ungrateful behaviour. They don’t want to face any problems or injustice. Only interested in their egos. It’s later revealed that the dinner party, like ‘the system’, is rotten. Nothing is what it appears to be. Everything becomes chaos and the characters destroy everything and transform into crazed guests, challenging the camera, trying to get the message through “will you ever open your eyes?”
Laura: This song marks the moment something clicked in our songwriting and I feel we really came together as a band. Performing it gives me so much strength. It feels quite primal and a good way to channel any anger you might have with people in power making selfish decisions.
Laura: I had the idea for the theme when working at an Elvis Exhibition in the O2. There were long shifts with Elvis on repeat, so there might be a little of him in there! It also relates to the feedback we often had about coping with (often very passionate) customers/ and standing around looking welcoming for hours on end.
Clara: By that time, I was working in a cafe in Canary Wharf, waking up super early in the morning to provide breakfast and coffee to bankers so I felt the song instantly and quickly we came out with the verse that sounds like a robot conversation following the anger build up. ‘Mechanical Soul’ is definitely the song in which the audience goes super mental at the gigs, and we love it!
Maeve: We wrote this a few years ago at a time when we were all working in crappy jobs and being underpaid and undervalued. Clara’s keys always reminded me of that old PlayStation game Abe’s Odyssey and it always gave me this vibe of just mindlessly going to work in some weird dystopian capitalist shit hole. Sounds legit…
Cece: This has been one of my favourite songs before joining the band, I love the energy it releases while dealing once again with the frustration of living in this system, where we are just told to smile and deal with things because otherwise, we are the problem.
Clara: Maeve’s masterpiece! It was interesting trying to play in the distance during a lockdown, using layers in a Garageband and sending stuff to each other.
Maeve: This song is really important to me, you can take a lot from it but was written from the perspective of someone commenting on being a queer woman being happy with her sexuality. We’ve had a lot of annoying older men at our gigs in the past sexualising/infantilising us, so this is a massive fuck you to them, kinda wanted it to sound arrogant to reclaim our autonomy. But also making a bit of a joke that queer people fall in love very quickly/obsession
Laura: I feel this song is about focusing on yourself, being single and living in the moment! It’s fun to play!
Cece: It felt important to reiterate the fact that your sexuality doesn’t define the type of person you are. There is still a lot of biphobia around, even in certain queer scenes, and a perception that it is not a valid sexual identity and it’s important to call this out.
Clara: Summer nights in the garden drinking beer and watching the moon, you start thinking about the other life it could exist in the sky and you start watching lights into your eyes for watching the moon too long.
Laura: I love that this song is about the house which is where Ghost Car began! We practised in the living room and I kept my drum kit in the cupboard under the stairs! Maria (previous member) and Clara lived there and we had so much fun, so many parties in the garden next to the frog pond and rosemary bush looking at the stars! It’s very special! Made even more special that Martha features at the end!
Cece: For me, as someone who wasn’t there when this was written, singing this song takes me back to moments when you feel paranoid, start questioning everything around you and feel isolated by the fear of the unknown. Maybe that’s just me, who can’t enjoy a barbecue without feeling isolated. This song also features our biggest supporter, Laura’s little daughter.
Clara: This one is about Brexit, I felt the urge to talk about this and all of us got so immersed thinking about lyrics and putting the music together. For the very first time, I realised that I was just an immigrant in the city which I thought was my new home, my friends leaving for visa reasons, other friends spending fortunes to get the passport and watching at the same time the clown of Boris making horrible decisions and the circus of the consequences brought by exiting the European Union.
Laura: The lies, frustration and fallout of Brexit.
Cece: The trigger to write this song was the impact Brexit had on us and our friends’ lives. But the more I thought about it I became aware that I only started caring about borders when they started affecting me personally and in reality, borders (including those imposed by the EU) are always harmful and lead to violence usually against non-Europeans. Recent events like those in Ukraine have opened my eyes even more to the consequences of this when considering a country caught between two opposing powers (Russia and the EU/Nato) and the devastation this leads to. I think it’s really important that we have become more aware of these issues by being personally impacted by them, but we need to make sure that we don’t stop there and we always look at it from a more internationalist point of view and consider what that means for everyone.
Clara: Loving Maeve’s northern Irish accent in this song, it makes me happy to be a band formed by women from different parts of the world but with the same feelings and frustrations!
Maeve: This has a sort of Stiff Little FIngers/Undertones vibe to it in my opinion, this is more about maybe having an interaction with someone once and getting more into it that it actually was, especially with social media, being able to see that person all the time, thinking you have more of connection when really you just snogged them at a party once.
Cece: This song really pushed me creatively coming from a different musical background as it’s not the sort of thing I’m used to playing. It was really rewarding learning to play it and come to love playing it live.
Clara: Laura’s ideas for songs are magical, she’s a poet!
Maeve: For me, we read Laura’s lyrics sorta as a feminist commentary on women/queer community being ‘shrunk down’ to fit a mould. The idea of a conch shell closing up, closing yourself off to the world vs opening up.
Cece: I love playing with ambiguity and enjoy lyrics with multiple or hidden meanings. Here the chorus says ‘don’t think I need you to rescue me…’ but then we repeat ‘rescue me’ which creates an ambiguity/dichotomy and some people could interpret it as call for help despite the lyrics also saying the opposite. Despite this we always come back to the statement ‘I don’t need you to rescue me/set me free…you don’t own me, I’m rare I’m me’. I like how this is the message of the song but we are also admitting to there being times when we doubt this truth which gives the song a layer of vulnerability.
Laura: I photographed a conch pearl at work and was very struck by how evocative it felt instantly. It’s about the empowerment we seek, and need to fight for it despite feeling disconnected, find your own strength in your uniqueness.
Clara: Another classic where people get mental at the gigs, the shortest but the most fun of our songs. People love it! Because they can identify with what we are saying and that’s wicked.
Maeve: Definitely our deepest song lyrically, this was a lot of fun when we wrote it, we just love screaming sushi addict at gigs and the repetition of it. And who doesn’t love sushi?
Laura: Super fun to play, and maybe it can jolt you into the moment. That’s where it’s at.
Cece: It’s nice to not take yourself too seriously all the time. We like sushi, we like playing this song live and its fun, and sometimes that’s enough!
Clara: Being born in a generation with lots of digital changes, for example mobile phones. We can remember life without them!
Laura: It’s important to get out and experience life, be spontaneous. We’re all guilty of living through our screens.
Cece: The ending of this song feels very liberating, when we sang this live after I recovered from Covid I almost fainted but I feel like it always deserves 100% commitment in its delivery and it always feels really rewarding.
Clara: Fuck Trump, fuck Boris, fuck the right wing
Maeve: Couldn’t have said it any better myself Clara! I’d add fuck the DUP.
Laura: l like the comfort of the first half, this song relates to so many horrific things happening in our world. So many frustrations.
Cece: Like ‘Clown Town’, another comment on how national and international politics has the capacity to really ruin lives so we wanted to keep it simple. It’s truly trash!
Awesome, London-based international punk quartet Ghost Car, released their fantastic album Truly Trash, comprised of 11 riotous, quick-witted garage-rock songs at the end of last yea. The LP provides Ghost Car with a platform to rage against political injustices, as their unified battle cries attack patriarchal inequality, homophobia, racism and toxic relationships. Ghost Car have recruited upcoming and established artists from around the world to take part in a remix series raising funds and awareness for Mermaids, a charity that […]