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First Play: Ghostkeeper, Sheer Blouse Buffalo Knocks

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Holly Gordon

“We woke up to headaches and heartaches.”

The line from “Transam Sister,” off of Ghostkeeper’s new album, easily describes the morning after a drunken campout, which is technically the setting for the standout track. But when you follow the final refrain into “This is Our Love,” the next (and equally standout) song on the album, the context is clear: “And they are far from our homes/ in the south, but we give them/ money for your sickness, yes/ we give you money for your sickness.”

Those headaches and heartaches might be from drinking the night before, but there’s a lot more at stake in northern Alberta.

Sheer Blouse Buffalo Knocks is the fourth full-length for the Calgary band, and continues from last year’s Sheer Buffalo 7” for characters Sheer Blouse and Buffalo Knocks who, according to the press release, are “spiritualist/explorer of realms and benevolent warrior [respectively], chronicling their battle against environmental destruction and the burden it places on their homelands in northern Alberta.”

While we follow the love story of Sheer Blouse and Buffalo Knocks, Ghostkeeper’s core vocalists and songwriters Shane Ghostkeeper and Sarah Houle’s story-songs run parallel “with the main theme of protest through modern Métis, Aboriginal standpoints,” as Ghostkeeper told Metro Ottawa. “Specifically in this story, Sheer Blouse and Buffalo Knocks are up north in our home territory of the Paddle Prairie Métis settlement, which is 12 hours north of Calgary.”

Along with bandmates Eric Hamelin and bassist Ryan Bourne, Ghostkeeper and Houle layer electronic waves, pop melodies, metal linings and powwow music for a haunting collection that makes Sheer Blouse and Buffalo Knocks’ journey immediately unforgettable. Set aside some time for this release, because you’re going to want to dig deep.

Sheer Blouse Buffalo Knocks will be released March 24. Get it here.