Throughout the past five years, Luke Mossman literally stayed in the dark—in his apartment—to piece together the fragments of his life, track-by-track. His creation: Ghost Gnotes (pronounced neeyotes). Not to be mistaken for the more ominous, Danish Hip-Hop artist, it’s the nom de plume of the Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ guitarist and how he’s dubbed his self titled debut.
Written and recorded by Mossman, producer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Local Natives, Sufjan Stevens) was pulled in to help bring the Ghost Gnotes (May 29) songs to light. Pulled together over the past several years, whenever Mossman could steal away some quiet moments while off tour with the Sweats, Ghost Gnotes is an exploration and processing of life’s perplexities, specifically the fear, and the beauty, of being alone.
Serving as his therapy, at the time, Ghost Gnotes wades through a thick, murky, and ultimately solemn acceptance of life’s ebb and flow, the end of a relationship, and getting to know oneself in solitude.
“This album is a slowly drifting boat, headed down the river in a still dark,” says Joseph. “It is a moment where your breath hangs long in the cold air before sinking to the top of the water, and just out of reach is the bloated moon all orange and golden. Luke exists fully inside this music, and it’s discovery.”
Reflecting Mossman’s Americana and folk Sweats roots, “Takes Some Time” has a more atmospheric shift, lyrically crossing over into an unknown state of loneliness and necessary introspection.
Written when Mossman’s relationship took an unexpected turn and his girlfriend decided to move out and get her own place, the track sways in delicate instrumentation and echoes, mirroring all its emotional waves.
“We were still planning to stay together, but obviously there was something in the air,” Mossman tells American Songwriter. “This song was an attempt to negotiate these feelings into something I could process—trying to prepare myself for a reckoning, [and] wondering if this was a path to growth, or something just the opposite.”