Ghostnaps

Image courtesy of Courtney Donohue.

When live shows were at an all time low and the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, one local artist did his best to help promote and grow the Eugene music community. That artist was none other than Richard Lathrop, also known by his stage name Ghostnaps.

In 2020, Lathrop hosted two virtual music festivals with other Eugene artists that were streamed on the live-streaming platform Twitch.tv. The first was Covchella, which was held on May 2, 2020, and the second was Virtual Valley Music Festival, held on June 27. Both streams were able to raise over $2,400 in total donations for FOOD For Lane County, Black Lives Matter and Oregon Food Bank.

Since the two livestreams and Lathrop’s debut album “Better Places,” the producer, who has since relocated to Boston, remained silent while working on his latest release. Leading up to this sophomore EP “blossom,” Lathrop dropped the singles “holding onto something” and “so high,” which teased a very different sound from his previous project.

Unlike 2020’s “Better Places,” which primarily focused on instrumental lo-fi hip-hop and electronic elements, the song “holding onto something” is a catchy, chorus based trap-rap ballad. The sound is reminiscent of hip-hop super figure Drake’s recognizable style, down to the cadence, and the vocal delivery of Romero is identical to the Toronto rapper.

While the 2021 single “so high” contains a hook just as catchy as “holding onto something,” the genre influences couldn't be more different. The beautiful vocals from an uncredited vocalist in “so high” synergize perfectly with the fun and bubbly production from Lathrop.

These two singles teased what sounded like Lathrop’s most diverse project to date, and his latest release truly lives up to this.

The opener “new day” is the only instrumental track on the record, a choice that veers from any other project of Lathrop’s. An incremental build-up crescendos with almost 8-bit sounding textures that loop until we reach a slow-down which transitions into “so high.”

Following “so high” is the aforementioned “holding onto something.” Even though the two juxtapose each other in style, neither feel out of place in the grand scheme of the album; the vocal focus of each track and their respective catchiness help do an excellent job of exhibiting the instrumental versatility of Lathrop.

We are then greeted with the quick interlude “imy (interlude),” which is around a minute. With an EP just under 14 minutes long, the interlude feels a bit unnecessary. The vocal snippet at the end of the song is a nice touch but feels out of place. The snippet could be a reference to fellow electronic producer DJ Seinfeld and his 2021 house cut “These Things Will Come To Be,” but whether it was intentional or unintentional is open to interpretation.

Similarly to “so high,” the fifth track on the EP “really love u” is another electropop bop, but adds the hip-hop flare of “holding onto something” by featuring a verse from Atlanta rapper Father. Unlike the first hip-hop oriented track of “blossom,” “really love you” takes a harmonic autotune route, manipulating Father’s vocals to work well with the song’s melody.

The closer “not tired” is a great mixup and finale in the EP’s track listing. Layered piano and guitar chords make up the slowest paced track on the project. More beautiful vocals blend with a mellow instrumentation as trap-flavored bass drums with high-hats and claps mold into an outro of soaring guitars.

“Short-and-sweet” is the best way to describe the latest and most diverse project from Eugene producer Ghostnaps. “blossom” does an excellent job showing Lathrop’s virtuosity and capability to change his music stylings and influences and should only leave listeners anticipating what the rising young artist will create next.

Arts & Culture Reporter

Gavin Majeski is an Arts & Culture reporter for the Daily Emerald with a focus on music. Gavin is also a DJ for University of Oregon's radio station, KWVA Eugene 88.1 FM.