Ghosts of Sunset is a new project from a songwriting duo with some impressive Rock & Roll credentials, and an equally formidable rolodex. John Merchant is a singer and songwriter from Western Michigan, formerly of the band Dutch Henry. Merchant’s creative cohort is former Michigander turned Alaskan, Todd Long. The multi-instrumentalist Long has filled various roles in a number of bands. Most notably, in recent years he played drums in the popular Alternative Rock band The Verve Pipe.
In the making of their debut EP “Headed West,” Merchant and Long called upon some heavy-hitter Rock & Roll friends to lend a hand. Their list of contributors reads like a who’s-who of Sunset Strip-era 80’s and 90’s hard rock and hair metal. The roster includes; Tim Mosher (Junkyard) , Traci Gunns (LA Guns) , Adam Hamilton (Tuff) , Johnny Monaco (Enuff Z’Nuff) , Stacey Blades (Ratt) and Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger). Their influence is clear on the band’s new single.
“Miles In-Between” is the first release in advance of the forthcoming “Ghosts of Sunset” EP. The song is a radio-ready emotional tale of lost love. It opens with all of the drama-packed crash cymbals and guitar shredding of a great 80’s power ballad. During the verse the music mellows to a 90’s style Alt-Pop/Rock vibe. Bass, drums, synths and a crystal clean guitar set the scene for a sad story. The distortion pedal gets more use later in the song. For instance, after the bridge there is a particularly ripping guitar solo that comes straight from the Viper Room.
Lyrically the song chronicles the demise of a romance, brought down by a life on the road. Merchant sings from the perspective of a musician heading out on tour, speaking to the lover he leaves behind. At first the story is touching as he assures his love that the “miles in-between” are meaningless and they will be together again soon. However, as the song progresses the relationship does not. Ultimately, the miles become the couple’s undoing as the partner left-behind is seen around town with another man.
“Miles In-Between” is a great Rock ballad that will sound immediately familiar. Check it out on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. And follow the links below to connect with Ghosts of Sunset. stay in the loop on all of their future release, including the new EP “Headed West,” due later this year.