Ruben Hultman – Grayscale Ghosts (Track Of The Day, 2nd May)

Our Track Of The Day is from our talented friend Ruben Hultman; a solo artist that hails from Sweden. “Grayscale Ghosts” is the third track from his album Portraits, which was released 1st June 2016.

Ruben has mastered the art of pouring from heart to song, creating music which is rich in emotion and also carries the magic of metaphor to describe things felt in real-life. “Grayscale Ghosts” is a vivid metaphor that Ruben has used to capture what becomes of a person who has lost their sense of self and aliveness, after other peoples’ opinions led to a negative self-image.

“There once was a boy who had a balloon
And that little boy he could not tie his shoes
But that was not a thing that ever occurred to him as
Something at all that disturbing”

When we were children, there never seemed to be any weight of doubt or questioning who we were. We were just simply and purely ourselves; learning and stumbling and trying without fear. As time goes on though, experience can wear down that easy comfort, leaving our explorations of life to be fraught with doubt, and any failing is felt with painful severity.

Musically, “Grayscale Ghosts” grows in intensity as the song goes on, with this painting of a person in grayscale resulting in increased desperation to break free. Whispered vocals add to an intrusiveness, like self-judgement that’s always lurking in the shadows, waiting to attack. Increased vocal intensity and falling into a chaotic bridge gives a sense of being held captive, musically railing against this impossible personal cage, and feeling the weight of defeat. Ruben shared in our interview that “Drowning in negativity is to become a “grayscale ghost” dwelling in dark thoughts and losing yourself.”

“Enter the mind of a mad man
Take a look at what’s inside
Try to revive me
Can you please save me”

I think all of us can relate to moments where our brain seems to be working against us, using things that have happened as ‘evidence’ of why our self-judgement is true.

Check out “Grayscale Ghosts” as well as the rest of Portraits in its entirety, and follow Ruben on Spotify.

Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it.

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