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Music

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DeLand band Roadkill Ghost Choir discusses their debut album

New Roadkill record 'In Tongues' due out July 2014

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Perhaps we’ll be treated to a demonstration of the new songs at this week’s Florida Music Festival, where Roadkill Ghost Choir headlines our live music columnist’s This Little Underground showcase at the Social, alongside an array of local bands similarly selected by Bao Le-Huu, including Case Work, American Party Machine, Good Graeff, and E-Turn and DJ SPS).

Le-Huu was an early fan, naming Roadkill Ghost Choir among Orlando’s best new bands in his 2011 annual Undie awards, and by last year, they had graduated to best area breakout band. In 2012, he heaped more praise on the band, saying, “The majestic symphonic twang of Roadkill Ghost Choir remains unbelievably mature for such young dudes.”

It was just fortunate timing that the band returned from out-of-state dates in time for FMF, prompting Le-Huu to create his locally focused showcase and making it a sort-of welcome home party for Roadkill Ghost Choir, Andrew says, since they haven’t played Orlando much since busying themselves with promoting the EP through touring.

On Roadkill’s website (roadkillghostchoir.com), you’ll find tour photos showing the band climbing mountains, scanning plains and performing at a number of major festivals, including the Governors Ball in New York, a city Andrew says is a band favorite to play, in addition to Athens, Atlanta and Austin.

Although the exposure this has garnered them has been at times surreal – Andrew confesses to blacking out during the entirety of their set on Letterman, not coming back around until the moment the soon-to-be-retired late-night host shook his hand – making music has always been Andrew’s priority, so he was eager to return home. (When asked if he’d ever play the show with Stephen Colbert behind the Late Show desk, Andrew laughs and says, “Now, that would be the dream.”) Backstage on the CBS set, some of the Roadkill guys got to meet the guest comedian for that night’s program, Myq Kaplan, but not the guest actor Don Cheadle. Really, the majority of the time before their set was spent huddled in a tiny room – freaking out.

“The only thing I really remember from the studio audience was looking out past the cameras, and everyone just sitting there all stoic, like not even remotely into it at all,” Andrew says. “It was a totally weird experience compared to the other audiences at a real live show. It was completely bizarre, the whole experience.”

The opposite could be said of Roadkill Ghost Choir’s latest jaunt at SXSW, which Andrew describes as rather cushy. They played only four shows, so the guys spent most of their time checking out other bands they wanted to see and enjoying all the free beer they could drink. Andrew’s favorite showcase was at the Pitchfork Central Presbyterian Church and featured Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) – whose “write-what-you-know” songwriting policy easily struck a chord with the Roadkill lyricist – and Angel Olsen, whose withered-flower vocal packs as much depth as the Roadkill singer (imagine if the pair dueted; hearts would race to break before each broken note). Our SXSW correspondent Nick McGregor caught Roadkill Ghost Choir at two separate appearances and predicted, based on the crowd reaction, that their upcoming debut will be a big hit once it finally happens.

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