Sean Hopkins is a singer/songwriter based out of New Hope, PA. He started out on the guitar but shifted to the bass, which eventually led him to contributing to several indie bands and getting signed to an indie label and putting out a few records. Eventually, life got in the way and he put music on the back burner for a while there. About six years ago, he picked it up again and started working on his work as a solo artist. Chasing Ghosts in the Dark is the result of his efforts. Filled with a folk whimsy, with dashes of alternative and singer/songwriter in the mix, this album has all the fixings to become a classic. I loved his warm style and I’m sure you will too!
Chasing Ghosts in the Dark begins with “All I Ever Wanted,” where acute strumming on the acoustic guitar settles in alongside some steel lap guitar. I loved the warm, yet melancholy vibe of Hopkins’ vocals. Next, a full band undertaking comes in with the addition of drums and percussion. I thought the mellow vibe of this track really made the sound here. Atmospheric synths come in alongside some noodling on the acoustic guitar on “Light Shades Grey.” The sound was meandering and slowly grew with momentum over time. The keys were very melodious and sounded great here. More synths come in alongside some finger-picking on the guitar on “Winter’s Breath.” The sound had a great flow to it and was overall very melodious. I liked how moody this song sounded. Hopkins’ vocals were also amazing. I felt in good hands here.
More renderings on the acoustic guitar come through on “Like a Whisper.” Next, there was an uptick with the instrumentals, making for an upbeat and catchy sound. Hopkins’ performance was on-point. More melodious renderings on the acoustic guitar come through on “Tears Surround You.” It is apparent Hopkins has range on his instrument of choice as he can go from whimsical to pensive and somber at the drop of a hat. Some synthetic synths give off a lush sound to this composition. More warm acoustics come in on “Never Say Never.” The driven sounds from the guitar provided a driven listening which I loved. I greatly enjoyed the energy of this track. There was a moody twang to this song which recalled in my mind a spaghetti western vibe.
On “A Long Farewell,” finger-picking on the acoustic guitar reels in a pensive vibe. Hopkins’ vocals are pack full of meaning and moody. He belts out the lyrics with emotional power which I thought was great. On the title track “Chasing Ghosts In The Dark,” sparse instruments come in for a stripped back sound. Next, the tolling of the bell struts in and the guitars grow more acute. The richness of the guitar and the rich cadence of Hopkins’ vocals really made the sound here. Some piano enters the sound here alongside the acoustic guitar on “It’s Alright.” The vibes were welcoming as Hopkins belts out on this piano-based send-off.
Right when I hit play on this record, I got the overwhelming sense that this would be played at open mic night or at a Starbucks somewhere. Hopkins has a great singer/songwriter vibe to his style. He sings with warmth and feeling, sometimes with a touch of melancholy, and this world-weariness comes through on this record, resounding with sage wisdom. Hopkins is definitely someone you should look out for. Be sure you give this a spin today!