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Review: Hyber – Ghost

Salem and Lowell based pop-grunge trio Hyber teased fans for months with rehearsal photos and snippets of songs before they finally announced they would be releasing their debut single “Ghost” last month. When that release date finally came, a meticulously crafted sound accompanied by a show-stopping music video proved this band would never be content with meekly tossing any song of theirs into the ether of the internet.

Telling the story of a character professing their unwavering commitment to a relationship that has ended, the song rests instrumentally on the back of crisp drumming that in turn supports echoing guitar and bass.

The guitar, in particular, weaves beautifully with itself and the rest of the band, floating a series of melancholic riffs that carry throughout the entirety of “Ghost.” Hardly a flashy song from any standpoint, when Hyber wants to punctuate their song, they do so with sharp guitar notes that effortlessly glide their way to the forefront of the “Ghost” sonic footprint.

While the drums methodically plod and the strings are washed out, this song remains anything but gentile. It is a dark tale sung with vocals that convey pain, longing, and loneliness after former company. Those vocals start low in the song’s verses but then jump to a higher register in the choruses while also incorporating a nearly flawless harmony. All this seemingly suggests a grim beauty to the roller coaster of emotions that follow the end of a relationship.

More so, perhaps most importantly, and unlike many other love stories heard in music or pop culture as a whole, Hyber sings from the perspective of someone at peace with this loneliness and pain. They’re not angry. They’re not desperate. They’re just sad.

As those vocals suggest all that, the video dropped alongside “Ghost” confirms it. Set at a Christmas party where Hyber is playing, that video rather straightforwardly depicts a relationship ending, through a conversation gone awry, and one lovers’ retreats to compose themselves in a bathroom, and the others trip to trash a bedroom. The video then ends with a creatively shot final scene that puts both protagonists in the very room where Hyber is playing.

In the song and the video, Hyber conveys a sort of nostalgia for the present. They sing longingly for something that they know is lost, and, in the case of the video, do so as a relationship falls apart right in front of them. By doing this, they’re seemingly narrating an ongoing event with the perspective of one looking back with years of hindsight.

We don’t have the benefit of hindsight and neither does Hyber. But we do know they’re hardly satisfied with their one single. And just as they once teased this release, they’ve now openly said they have new music in the pipeline in the form of a full EP. Knowing that, it may be better to be forward thinking then nostalgic, at least, that is, in the case of this trio.

-Dakota Antelman