Jukebox The Ghost is a band that is heavy on sunshine and nostalgic influences. Produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) the trio is made up of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Siegel, pianist/vocalist Ben Thornewill and drummer Jesse Kristin. The group has a solid upbeat piano sound that makes an impression on the opener, “Schizophrenia,” with quick beats, playful synths and the contrasting lyrics “No I can’t, Yes I Can…” The album is tons of fun with expertly executed hooks in the bouncy “Half Crazy” and quirky lyrics of “Empire,” which sounds like a brilliant combination of Billy Joel and Field Music. The latter tune is a special highlight as the chorus just rings in your head and won’t let you go.
If someone comes up with a sound that people seem to gravitate to, that is when you see many other bands and musicians trying to adopt that style as their own. One group of musicians that is succeeding in setting themselves apart from the crowd is a trio from the Washington, D.C. area. That trio calls themselves Jukebox the Ghost.
Jukebox the Ghost consists of Pianist/vocalist Ben Thornewill, guitarist/vocalist Tommy Siegel, and drummer Jesse Kristin. Thornewill, Siegel and Kristin have been performing together since 2004. However, it wasn’t until the three musicians regrouped after a nine-month hiatus from their first project that they refocused their energy to create a sound that helps set them apart from the countless other piano-based pop trios out there.
Thornewill, Siegel and Kristin have been performing under the moniker of Jukebox the Ghost since 2006. Although a Ben Folds Five reference is obvious, Jukebox the Ghost is far from being a carbon copy. One major difference between the bands is that while Ben Folds Five contains piano, drums and bass, Jukebox the Ghost features a guitarist and exists without anyone playing the bass, electric or otherwise.