The inaugural Souls Extolled album begins with the song that started it all for Souls Extolled, “Follow the Ghosts”. Reminiscent of Black Sabbath-esc proto-metal with a modern psychedelic flare and rock reggae accents, the song uses the biblical story of Moses and the Burning Bush as a metaphor for existential struggle. The primary songwriter of
The inaugural Souls Extolled album begins with the song that started it all for Souls Extolled, “Follow the Ghosts”. Reminiscent of Black Sabbath-esc proto-metal with a modern psychedelic flare and rock reggae accents, the song uses the biblical story of Moses and the Burning Bush as a metaphor for existential struggle. The primary songwriter of the group Zach Black says that the meaning of the song is ultimately, “be spiritual”. “Don’t run from those existential feelings. Rather, embrace them.” This is one of the major themes of the “Follow the Ghosts” album. The third track “Mutations Sake” highlights the rock reggae side of the band as the lyrics contemplate suicide and play on the trope of sun worship, struggling with the irony of something that is essential to life yet sometimes harmful to it as well. The first single off the album “Release” also plays on this theme, but takes a straight classic rock approach, and ties the meaning of existential struggle and spiritual expression to rock music itself.
Another big element on “Follow the Ghosts” is the general celebration of rock, occult, and psychedelic culture. The music encourages listeners to embrace vice, altered states of consciousness, and the entire range of spiritual light and darkness as a means of liberation and free expression, as well as a gateway to connection, love, and understanding. The second track “Black” is almost a poetic autobiography of Zach Black himself, with every verse beginning “Black like a…”. Black paints an image of himself as a prophet of indulgence and dark spirituality. “You can trade in all your time for the moment. I am here to show you”. “Garden of Eden” mixes the bands ska punk influences with classic psychedelic rock and celebrates the biblical story of the Adam and Eve as a victorious event of human liberation. “Touch Me (Fuck Me)” is a pure ska punk garage rock jamn with extremely forward explicit lyrics.
The last two songs of the record take a slight indie rock turn. “Hear My Call” hangs on a straightforward guitar hook with Modest Mouse-esc lyrics in the verses and expresses frustration with God or the lack thereof. “The Restless Kind” is a jolly Strokes-like tune basically saying Carpe Diem. “You’re living your dreams, or so it seems. No more waiting. Set yourself free”. At live shows, the band always plays this song last, and Zach Black usually says something like, “We call ourselves and all the people who listen to our music The Restless Kind. This song is about ya’ll, for ya’ll”. Black believes that those who really connect to the majority of this record are the same kind of existentially restless people as the band, struggling in the search for meaning, truth, and connection.
Souls Extolled dropped this album to packed house at Empire Control Room in the Red River District of Austin, TX. Since then they have rocked these songs all over Texas and in notable venues including Mohawk Austin, Dan Electros Houston, and Fitzgerald’s San Antonio. These songs have been aired on local radio stations like KLBJ and The Bat, and have been sufficiently playlisted, blogged about, and covered by both regional and international media. The band has made appearances on local morning shows like Wimberly Valley Radio’s “Over Easy with Coach”, and notable podcasts such as “The CobraCast Podcast with Bobby Sharon” and Johnnie Goudie’s “How Did I Get Here?” podcast.
In hindsight the band is extremely proud of their first album and everything they accomplished with it. They feel it’s a great foundation for the themes of the band and the range of genres they cover. If you haven’t checked it out yet, give it a listen! And FOLLOW THE GHOSTS