Sillyboy’s Ghost Relatives can proudly claim to be “Greek radio’s favourite soft rock band”. The Athens-based quartet – fronted by bass-wielding former TV commercial composer turned Balearic popster Charalampos Kourtaras – are rising stars in their home country, with listeners warming to their distinctive blend of atmospheric guitars, retro-pop synths and head-in-the-clouds grooves.
So far, international stardom has passed them by, though their distinctive songs have caught the ear of a range of DJs across the globe. One was Claremont 56 founder Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy, who has worked his magic on one of the band’s previously unreleased gems, “In A Small Place”.
Perfectly capturing the claustrophobic reality of life in a small, remote town or village where everyone knows everyone else’s business, the song sees Sillyboy plan his escape over a mesmerizing backing track rich in ghostly synthesizers, chunky bass guitar, spacey electronics and a shuffling groove that sits somewhere between pitched-down dub disco and early ‘80s West Coast AOR.
Murphy’s “Extended Version” allows the track room to breathe, teasing out the clandestine and atmospheric instrumentation – eyes-closed guitar solos included – before introducing Sillyboy’s rueful and paranoid vocals. You’ll find the Greek band’s slimmed-down – and arguably even more trippy – original version on the B-side, completing a fittingly high quality musical package to kick-start Claremont 56’s 2019 release schedule.