Dave Hause | photo by Kyle London | courtesy of the artist
Dave Hause’s “Your Ghost” shows the frustration of the never-ending fight
Philly-born, Cali-based heartland rocker Dave Hause released a new song on Friday. “Your Ghost” is a pained folk song written in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“Your Ghost” is, in some ways, a spiritual successor to Hause’s 2017 “Season’s Greetings from Ferguson.” His anger and exhaustion at continued injustice is reflected in the refrain of “How long will there be this song of ‘I can’t breathe’?” The music itself is subdued, all of Hause’s rage focused into visceral lyrics, like “Another public execution under a greedy would-be king / Another desperate bloody anthem a crying family has to sing.”
Rather than swelling to a cathartic climax or even fading into nonexistence, the track stops suddenly, cut midway through a lyric. Hause says about the new track:
It’s a privilege to write songs for a living, and I write them to try to make some sense of the chaotic world in which we live. I watched the footage of George Floyd’s murder from the safety of my home, and I experienced the outrage, despair, and grief that so many of us shared. My brother Tim and I got to work on this song that week as a way to try to process what we had all collectively witnessed. We tried and initially failed to get the right tone, but as we worked at it, we learned about our blind spots on these issues and how to wrestle with them. But that nagging question again… am I just another white guy singing about someone else’s experience? Yes, I am. But could this song make a difference? Even a small one?
In addition to contributions from Hause and his brother, “Your Ghost” features the vocal talents of neo-folk artist Amythyst Kiah and singer-songwriter Kam Franklin of The Suffers, two women of color who are active in the scene. Hause is also donating all proceeds from the song to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.
Listen to “Your Ghost” below.