Much like the catchall “indie rock” classification that’s often applied to bands on major labels that don’t play rock and roll, “bedroom pop” seems to be the sub-genre du jour to describe delicate, exposed singer-songwriter efforts—regardless of the type of room in which they were recorded. As meaningless as the bedroom pop tag (which has been used to describe Lorde…by MySpace, but still!) can be, Wealthy Ghost is the perfect embodiment of its sonic characteristics and its assumed place of creation.
Last year, Pete Kostrivas (ex-Sharking Hour) blindsided the Milwaukee music scene with his deeply personal, stripped-down and altogether great debut under the Wealthy Ghost moniker, Good Luck, which he wrote in a spare bedroom and recorded in his closet. Since then, Kostrivas went back to the bedroom to write and record another EP. Cold Hands is more of the same from Wealthy Ghost, and that’s a good thing.
The five-song follow-up fuses meat-and-potatoes arrangements, barren-but-beautiful lyrics, and Kostrivas’ wavering and whispered vocals to echo all the airy isolation of its predecessor. This is best expressed on the soft, piano-driven “Things” and the somber, cavernous “Hit.” The one-man-band’s small batch of homespun renderings come closest to bursting at the seams with the percussive and distorted crescendo in bi-polar single “Smoke Machine.”