The Ghost of the Forest

9 p.m. Friday, December 28. Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street.

The Ghost of the Forest

$7 over 21, $10 under. No phone. www.bluebirdstl.com.

The Ghost of the Forest already wins the competition for having the cutest merchandise in town, what with its Scooby Doo-esque haunted forest T-shirts and the Pac-Man-like ghost icon hovering on the cover of its self-titled debut. But despite such adorable markers, the music crafted by the septet tends toward "melancholic specter" instead of Casper-caliber friendliness. The band's second full-length, My Time to Die (which is being released by local micro-label Critter Records), takes its cues from Broken Social Scene, Yeasayer, Belle and Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens. Lush keyboards, orchestral sweetness and church-hymn vocals dominate, leaving plenty of room for mournful space and lo-fi guitars. Die's best tune is the rollicking "The Ghost of the Forest," which makes room for spiraling piano, crashing bass, wordless wails and sizzling drums over the course of four all-too-short minutes.

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