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ghostdaughter’s Carefully Crafted ‘Doll’ 

ghostdaughter Doll review on the Right Chord Music Blog

Discover ghostdaughter’s sweetly unnerving indie pop ballad.

ghostdaughter – ‘Doll’

‘Good morning doll, how did you sleep?’ opens ‘Doll’ by ghostdaughter. A deceptively innocent beginning for a song that goes layers deep and includes lines like ‘mother ripped out all your teeth’. Don’t let the dreamy guitar picking fool you – we’re verging on an Alice in Wonderlandian nightmare here. 

ghostdaughter is the project of Naomi Ren Harper, a musician and singer-songwriter hailing from North Carolina. Having achieved success with a former project under the name Shiki XO, a gender transition alongside a musical one led her to develop ghostdaughter, with ‘Doll’ being its first original single release.

‘Doll’ is a lo-fi indie ballad with soothing, vintage melodies and a darker lyrical underbelly.

The deeply rich lyrics paint a picture of an unspecified dysfunctional relationship – ‘I know I said that we’d be better’ – that is haunted by disturbing dreams. Lines like ‘did all the cobwebs stretch across your mouth’ may get lost in the sweet tune but once heard, can not be unheard. The song ends on a somewhat hopeful note, remarking ‘we will all be alive’, but the effect is still unnerving. This is all delivered with natural, folky melodies and Harper’s layered, softly drawling vocals. 

The production is stripped back, with only guitar and vocals, letting the melody weave its charm and the guitar show off some nicely intricate picking. There are some retro folk influences at work here, combined with a lo-fi, Tiktok singer-songwriter sound. It’s a compelling track, perhaps not a banger but memorable and jarring.  This might just be your new internet obsession. 

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Eden Tredwell