Indie Mixtape 20: Ghost Orchard Just Wants You To Enjoy Yourself

Jeen Na

Sometimes you throw on a song from a new artist and you just immediately get blown away. This is exactly what happened the first time I listened to Ghost Orchard, the project of Sam Hall. The music takes inspiration from elements of hip-hop, bedroom pop, and more — it’s actually quite hard to pinpoint exactly where on the sonic spectrum it lies. But that’s what makes Ghost Orchard so special.

Hall went deep during the production of Station, the first Ghost Orchard album for his new label Orchid Tapes (the Brooklyn-based tape label best known for launching the careers of artists like (Sandy) Alex G, Soccer Mommy, and Emily Reo). He culled from over 300 home recordings he has made over the last several years, many of which work in tandem to give Station a feeling of timelessness.

In advance of Station Hall took part in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A, talking everything from Indian Food to Death Grips to Pixar. Get into it!

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Happy puppy sunny day.

Years from now, how do you hope people will remember your work?

It would be nice to be remembered in part to people’s memories. All of my favorite music has ties to pretty specific moments of my life and it would be amazing to kind of fit in there. I just want people to enjoy themselves.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

Haven’t gotten much of a chance to tour yet (would love to), but I really like Chicago so far. Lots of positivity and love each time I visit.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Phew. I know it’s almost a cop-out but I’m gonna say Richard D James. No one has really showcased versatility and creativity in a way like he has to me. Just really opened my eyes to see just how much room there is to grow.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

Oh man, my food standards are hilariously low, but I’ve been saying my favorite meal is this place in Grand Rapids called ‘Bombay Cuisine.’ Just very solid Indian food. Chicken vindaloo with extra heat. Sheesh.

What album do you know every word to?

Alex G – Trick. Always stuck in my head on an endless loop.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

I saw Death Grips in 2015 and it was fantastic. Just so much… stamina? Very impressed. Honestly, I just played in Chicago with Dijon and that may be up there. What an immensely talented and kind person.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Still trying to figure this one out myself. I’ve been sticking to big t-shirts and I think it’s going okay. Been having a hard time not wearing a hat all the time and it is definitely not a great thing to perform in!

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

On Twitter, @zackfox and @errikffillips. Erik has been close to me for so many years and still manages to consistently amaze me with their tweets. Just one of the funniest people I know. Gotta follow em though cause they delete everything pretty much daily. [Laughs] With Zack, I mean.. come on. Have you seen that Kenny Beats ‘The Cave’ video? I showed it to literally everyone I knew when it came out. Everything that comes out of his head makes me laugh.

On Instagram, @benny_revival. Where do they get all of the masks? Where are they? Why is this song so good? Also, @wnoadiarwb. Love seeing whatever Otto is up to and having my jaw on the floor every time. Lately, if I remember correctly, he’s been making instruments and putting them inside of stuffed animals. Extremely talented. Come for the music and stay for the art, for them.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

Haven’t toured much but been listening to a lot of Cornelius these days. also that new Freddie Gibbs and Madlib album is a classic already.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“Aerogel” – love the stuff.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

Just mentioned it, but have been showing Fantasma by Cornelius to everyone I know. Just such a fun, wild ride and is easily the most creative record I’ve heard in ages. Also, Plantasia by Mort Garson forever. The ultimate gift.

Do you have a favorite hotel you enjoy staying at when you tour?

Anything with a pool!

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

Still fresh, unfortunately. Been loving Matt Carigan’s work on Instagram, maybe if I’m out in Oakland eventually!

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

I don’t have a car so I don’t hear much radio but if I had to guess, I really love “Act Up” by City Girls. Might be tough to play on the radio though. [Laughs]

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

I will always be grateful of Sam Ray for being the first person to really “put me on.” Kinda got the ball rolling for all of this and will always mean a lot to me. He posted my first record, Poppy, on the Teen Suicide [now known as American Pleasure Club] socials and I was like.. floored.

To Be Close To You by his project Julia Brown is my favorite album of all time. I was 16 at the time and it was it was the first moment where i was like, “wow, maybe I can do this if I really try.”

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

I’m 21 now, so it hasn’t been ages but I’d probably say to start learning about production earlier. Or to maybe start trying more foods. [Laughs]

What’s the last show you went to?

I played with Dijon a few weeks back in Chicago and it was really great. Recently saw Spencer Radcliffe and he is just… such a gifted songwriter. Definitely a blessing.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

Anything Pixar. So much magic in those movies. Crazy how Steve Jobs touched so many massive innovations in the modern world, basically invented it.

What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?

[Laughs] My friend Jimmy told me to say “pizza eggs,” so I’m going to stick with that.

Bunny is out 8/23 on Orchid Tapes. Pre-order the album here.