Allyson Baker is a pretty tough chick. When she was a kid in junior high she snuck into punk shows in her native Toronto and by age 17 she was playing her own hardcore bands. In 2000 she left Toronto, her friends, and family behind to start over in San Francisco. For the past five years she’s been working on her Dirty Ghost project, refining the group’s distinctly direct sound.
Dirty Ghost plays no nonsense music with a less-is-more ethos that give their songs a kind of primal power that gets lost in much of the over-produced pop music that’s on the radio these days. Despite their minimalist aesthetic, however, Dirty Ghosts incorporates a wide range of musical styles into the songs on the debut LP Metal Moon. Lead track “Ropes That Way” is a muscular rock track in the style of The Kills, but on other songs like “NoVideo” they get funky, and on others like “Shout It In” they get a dance-punk thing going a la The Rapture.
For Allyson Baker, a student and lover of all kinds of music, this is just a way of processing the things she is listening to.
“Music takes complete control over me,” she said in an interview, “And then just when I think the feeling’s gone, it comes back. It’s a total love/hate thing: I love it because making music makes me feel so happy, but it kind of does the opposite, in that it takes over to the point where I can’t make any rational decisions about anything else in my life. But I have this weird passion for music—there’s nothing else I really want to do.”