Savannah is the type of place that inspires you to write music,” Brian Crowley said.
Crowley is the lead singer, songwriter and piano player for acoustic indie-folk band Global Ghost. Alongside him is Chris Hagan on guitar and Tom Townshend, who does a little of everything including production, guitar, backup vocals and other instruments. The band just released its new single “Mistakes in Madrid” and has multiple other songs set to be released by the end of the year.
Like many people in Savannah, Crowley is a transplant. He’s originally from Ireland and moved to Georgia in 2009. He said the band’s name, Global Ghost, is heavily inspired by his moving around, explaining the feeling of being “a ghost between towns.”
“It’s that theme of displacement, that nostalgia, and that inspiration for storytelling,” Crowley said. “That’s what Global Ghost is about. It’s about telling stories about my journey to America, moving down South, my journey to becoming a father.”
The theme is clear throughout all of the band’s music, which has a distinct haunting — but not too spooky — sound to it, transporting the listener to another place or another time.
Crowley said all of Global Ghost’s songs have meaning and inspiration behind them. However, he prefers to leave it up to the listener to create their own story, adding to the band’s themes of mystery and anonymity.
“People are always asking me what these songs are about,” Crowley said. “I’ll tell them a little bit about it, but I hate doing that. It’s always worth holding back a little bit and letting other people decide what the song is about. It’s so much more fun to hear.”
Regardless of how the listener interprets his songs, Crowley said the goal is to impact the audience and give them music to enjoy.
“For me, the best movies are the ones where, rightly or wrongly, you’re somewhat changed a little bit by having watched the movie,” Crowley said. “Even with a scary movie, if you’re thinking about that days later, then that affected you. I hope the combination of the lyrics and the haunting vibe in our music captures something in the listener.”
On the opposite side of the listener, Crowley said he’s just as impacted by songwriting.
“It’s weird,” Crowley said. “I’ve never been more vulnerable than when I’m releasing music. It’s like I’m really putting myself out there, I’m kind of telling my life story to people. I’m doing it because it’s like scratching an itch. It’s like there are these songs in the back of my mind that need to be written.”
He added that some songs take him back to hard times in his life and help him better understand them.
“Songwriting is a form of therapy,” he said. “It’s like making peace with a ghost.”
Crowley said Global Ghost plans to release one single at a time, rather than an entire album at once.
“I feel like all of our songs deserve to have their own space, so we decided to just release one song at a time,” he said. “There’s three more songs left, and then we’ll call it an album, called ‘Killing My Darlings.’”
The album title comes from a series of ironic events, Crowley said.
It all started when Crowley was asked to write a speech for his sister’s wedding a few years ago. Crowley said he asked a friend to proofread his speech, and the friend said, “You know Brian, William Faulkner once said, ‘You must kill your darlings.’”
“That was his nice way of telling me I needed to rewrite my speech,” Crowley said, laughing. “I also later had a song ironically called ‘Killing My Darlings,’ and at one point, we realized that it wasn’t as good as the other songs. We had to cut it. It seemed only natural that the first album would be called ‘Killing My Darlings.’”
The complete album will be out by the end of 2021.
As far as live shows go, Global Ghost is just getting started. The band did some live shows at local venues before the COVID-19 pandemic, but Crowley said he feels like this summer is really the beginning for Global Ghost live gigs.
You can stay up to date on new releases and live shows by following Global Ghost on Facebook @globalghostmusic and Instagram @global_ghost_music. You can also listen to them on Spotify as “Global Ghost.”