“Greenwich Village Ghosts” is the first release from Jakob Leventhal since his 2019 debut album, “Oh, So Bittersweet!” which was met with critical acclaim, even from Sir Elton John, citing it as “one of the most beautiful records (he’s) heard in a long time.”
Leventhal strays from his 60s folk sound and marks the beginning of a new era in a simple yet beautiful piano ballad. The delicate keys dance lightly throughout its three-minute run, accompanied by Leventhal’s breathy vocals. He harmonizes with Sarah Jarosz, adding an airy, higher layer to a tune that generally sits in a lower register.
The song conveys feelings of devastating sadness with lyrics like, “I value myself on who I love the most/from coast to coast/my Greenwich Village Ghosts/What’s harder than telling me that you’ve had enough?/Oh I like being young/I hate growing up,” citing the struggle to move on, maybe even romanticizing the past, as a major strain on his ability to feel happy in his current situation.
So much of the song’s character comes from the fact that it’s a quiet listen- the wispy piano and gentle vocals harbor the melancholy mood in a way that encourages you to sit in these feelings and really understand them. There’s even power in the moments of silence, like when a single note from the piano is sustained just a little longer than the rest. It lingers just long enough to feel the last remaining vibrations from the piano fade away into the empty background.
“Greenwich Village Ghosts” is the title track of his upcoming EP. Proceeds from his EP will be donated to Black Lives Matter in support of the fight against police brutality and systemic racism.
Jakob Leventhal is a singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer moving regularly between New York and Chicago. His debut album holds nostalgia for the heyday of Simon & Garfunkel as an eclectic collection of indie folk sounds. He is revered as an artist that is able to craft beautiful, authentic, and truly inspired music. Leventhal has worked with a plethora of artists like Nick Sherry, Bad Head, and Rosanne Cash. His duo project titled Garden Party also released their first record earlier this year.
Written by Jess Ward