dirty ghosts
Dirty Ghosts (Photo: Liz Caruana)

Allyson Baker has certainly been busy since the release of her band Dirty Ghosts’ debut record Metal Moon. Though her marriage with San Francisco-based MC/producer Aesop Rock dissolved, she provided backing vocals to a !!! song, collaborated with SF local Kelley Stoltz on a couple of his upcoming records, and even released a Dirty Ghosts EP earlier this summer, Cataracts. And now, her and the now-solidified Dirty Ghosts crew is putting out their long-awaited sophomore record Let It Pretend on October 2, courtesy of Last Gang Records.

They’ve been working on this record since 2012, and since then, they’ve gone through a few lineup changes. Erin McDermott of AC/DShe, who also runs label Classic Bar Music and guitar shop McDermott Guitars, now plays bass full time. And a serendipitous find for Baker was drummer Tony Sevener. He first joined the Dirty Ghosts live lineup for a Noise Pop show in 2013 after their current drummer quit, and since then, he has had a great creative influence on the writing of their new record. Baker admits, “He taught me a lot about how to look at music from a pop perspective.”

She also admits that she loves “any time a punk band starts experimenting,” and hearing their latest single “Moving Pictures,” we hope to apply the same credence to the new Dirty Ghosts record. Clocking in at just two and a half minutes, the single is bright, catchy, and chock full of rocking riffs. Though the angular guitar of DG past is replaced for more of a chord-heavy/soloing balance, it is still able to conjure the moody air that the band is known and loved for. And Allyson Baker’s vocals are as smoky and undeniable as ever. Compared to their latest output, the pop perspective Baker credits to drummer Tony Sevener is definitely apparent — and we’re absolutely loving it. Give it a listen below.

Let it Pretend is out 10/2 on Last Gang Records — and we hope you don’t get a speeding ticket while listening to it in the car! (Courtesy of Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire, “Every time I listen to this record in a car I catch myself speeding.”) You can stream it now via Consequence of Sound.