MINNEHAHA COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) – Art doesn’t just reflect its creator; it can also showcase when it came to fruition. The album “Ghost and a Guess” comes to our ears from Sioux Falls-area musicians Brian Masek and Toby Kane. Each of them share songwriting credits on all the album’s songs.
“Toby approached me and said he had a project, and would I be interested in producing it,” Masek said. “He played the stuff, and it was really cool, but I was just more doing live stuff at the time and so I just, I said thanks but no thanks, but maybe I’ll play some bass parts on it.”
But that would change.
“COVID hit and started becoming more prevalent in the area, it was pretty obvious we weren’t going to get to play a lot of shows, and so it seemed like it could be a really cool musical outlet,” Masek said “So I basically went back to Toby and said, ‘Hey, let’s go all in on this, let’s just try to make this the best thing we’ve done.'”
The album came out on Halloween. When asked about a lyrical theme, Kane points to 2020.
“I’ve been very fascinated by ghosts my whole life, but also just this idea that during 2020, everything was a guess, we didn’t know what tomorrow was going to bring, and so that kind of kept coming back to me,” Kane said. “It’s like, how do you connect with people when you’re so isolated? What, if everything is a ghost, or if it’s a guess, what are we doing right now to connect and stay connected.”
“The way the process worked is Toby would come up with it on his phone, send it to me, we would go okay, that’s cool, and here’s the tempo that we want,” Masek said.
“I would have an idea, and I’d just say, ‘Brain, like, amp it up, make it better,’ which was cool ’cause that was one of the fun parts about being isolated is that neither of us were married to an idea of what something sounded like,” Kane said.
“He’d record his acoustic and vocals over it, and then send that back to me, so then I would have a starting point that’s referenced to a tempo, and then from there I would start putting in drum parts,” Masek said.
Masek is a bassist, but he did much more than that on the album. Besides playing bass, keys and guitar on “Ghost and a Guess,” he also produced it. Kane sings and plays guitar and keys.
“I think we FaceTimed a couple times, we had a couple calls and the rest of it was via email,” Masek said.
Other artists are featured on the album, too.
“I think half dozen people just did it all through the internet,” Masek said.
“I think it’s rock,” Kane said. “We’ve been told it’s dad rock, 90s rock, 2000s rock, old rock, whatever.”
Whichever kind of rock it is, it works for him.
“At a time when everything was going 100 different directions, to just do something sort of straight ahead and rock and poppy and catchy, I thought was cool, I mean, I needed it,” Kane said.
“It touches a lot of different styles of rock,” Masek said.
Music doesn’t just impact an audience experiencing it; it also affects the artists who offer it to the world.
“You want to create something with heart, you want to create something that resonates with people hopefully and then also just fulfills you,” Kane said.