News Track By Track: Ghost Outfit - I Want You To Destroy Me

Manchester’s Ghost Outfit have been integrated into a community, integral to the spirit and the growth of Salford’s SWAYS recordings. The two entities go hand in hand. SWAYS’ first LP release is ‘I Want You To Destroy Me’, an album of sheer, unrelenting force. It skyrockets from the off. If opener ‘Too Soon’ comes off more like a climatic embodying of life, the remainder takes things to even headier heights.

The intention behind Jacq Hardman and Michael Benson’s debut, we’d assume, is to leave its listener for dead. To drive them headfirst into a wall of pure noise, ferocity defined. But then again there’s always meaning behind the madness. We deemed it necessary to get a full guide to the album from the duo themselves, alongside an exclusive stream of the terrific debut. Jacq and Michael document love, desire and moments of realisation on ‘I Want You To Destroy Me’.

Too Soon
The song is about premature feelings of love, and the joy of giddy young love. We chose to start with such a moment of light to really contrast with the gloom and uncertainty that most of the rest of the album deals with. We liked how the hope of young love has the rug pulled from under it.

‘Switch’ is a term in sexual power dynamics. It is about the ability to make the choice to be dominant or submissive. The phrase ‘I Want You To Destroy Me’, taken from the lyrics, crosses over the album; it is about giving in to someone else and letting your old self be destroyed.

This one is about living in the back end of a dying relationship, knowing that the whole thing is decaying, yet not being quite ready to give up, wasting away in the meantime.

The first three songs on the album are heavy. They’re noisy, often abrasive, and in the case of ‘WASTE’, troubling. This instrumental serves as a palette cleanser, a moment of refreshment, and also a bridge into the change of pace that occurs throughout the middle of the record.

The most conflicted song on here. ‘I don’t want to hate her, but I just can’t stop when I start thinking of her’ is contrasted with ‘she’s all I need’. It’s like two opposing selves trying to convince the other that they’re right. The song focuses this issue around problems sleeping.

This is about a growing sense of unease in a relationship. The first half of the song is spent trying to reassure oneself, promising things will get better with time. An uncertainty hovers over the rest of the song, things left unsaid and words that should have been perhaps left unsaid. ‘There are some words no-one should hear, and I should not have told her.’

The moment of true realisation. After the chaos that overtakes the ending of the previous track, ‘Lexicon’ is a lull, a wash of understanding. This instrumental also acts as a refrain for ‘Words’, repeating key lyrics through a pure haze of reverb.

I Want Someone Else
The title of this track is the last lyric sung. The rest of the song builds to this statement, stated as an apology. This song repeats the moments of doubt and confusion addressed on earlier tracks, but with its final statement calls an end to those conflicts.

This moves on from the the troubles surrounding love and instead focuses its attack directly at someone else entirely. It’s a lacerating tirade of self-deprication, all turned back upon itself. Creativity, relevance, longevity, and the trueness of ones friends are called into question. ‘Do you ever tell your friends you think you’ve lost your something? How you’re even scared to pick up your guitar? Do you ever wonder if they would be your friends still, if nobody knew you, you didn’t play music at all?

What You’ve Got
A final word on the past relationship. This song was written whist still in it, and is a bratty swipe, a moment of fighting back, stemming from feeling underappreciated.

‘I Want You To Destroy Me’ is a pretty bleak album. Here’s its one moment of true levity. This song has been with us for a long time. We’ve been playing it live and we’ve been trying to capture a good version for longer than any other song on here. As a consequence of this, thematically it makes the least sense in this collection, hence the reason we saved it, much like we do in our live shows, for the very end. The main lyric may have meant something more when it was written, but should now been seen for what it is; a non-sequitor that makes you want to dance. It felt wrong not to include it, if only for the people who have supported and followed us through until this album. This track is for them.

Ghost Outfit’s ‘I Want You To Destroy Me’ is available 24th June via SWAYS on limited edition 12” heavyweight vinyl, CD & digital.

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