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John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts

3 JohnGrantGrant named the album after the opening title track, which documents the drives that he regularly took in the 1980s, from Parker, Colorado, to the nearby metropolis of Denver and its new-wave dance clubs that inspired the elements of this album, and later on to visit the boyfriend who inspired many of the heartbreaking scenarios of a previous album, Queen of Denmark. One classic that Grant heard in those dance clubs was Sinead O’Connor’s “Mandinka.” Two decades later, O’Connor not only covered the title track of Queen of Denmark on her latest album but supplies goose-bumping backing vocals on Pale Green Ghosts. The album features a range of Icelandic musicians, including saxophonist Óskar Gudjónsson on “Ernest Borgnine,” named after the actor. On an album of typically caustic revelations and scabrous humor, including sex, sexuality, and the pitfalls of growing up in an era that ostracized gay men, “Ernest Borgnine” combines all these strands with the admission that Grant is HIV positive. Partisan Records ( More: —Suzie Lynde


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