The memories that stay with us. The melodies we can't let go. The moments that haunt us - echoes of the past, reverberating into the future. These are our favorite ghosts. Who would we be without them?
"Favorite Ghosts" is the eighth album from siblings Jocelyn & Chris. The ten-track effort spans genre to create a work of masterful storytelling where each song is unapologetically emotional, fearlessly original, and undeniably powerful. The record was initially slated for release in 2020. However, Jocelyn & Chris and their management team chose to delay the release due to the world health circumstance. The artists used this time to reevaluate and reimagine several of the tracks for the record. The delay also allowed time to bring in special guests including vocalist Bernie Barlow and Grammy award-winning bassist Byron Isaacs (Lumineers/Lost Leaders).
The record was produced by long-time Jocelyn & Chris collaborator David Bourgeois and seven-time Grammy winner Joel Moss.
The album's first single “Sugar and Spice” was released to radio and DSPs in mid-June. The track spent 14 consecutive weeks inside the Billboard AAA Indicator Top 40, three weeks on the Billboard AAA Monitored Top 40, and was a “Most Added” US radio single for four weeks. In addition, "Sugar and Spice" was featured on the Spotify editorial playlist “Modern Blues Rock” and is nearing one million streams. The video for the single was also added to MTV.
The album's second single “Run Away” premiered on radio 6/14 and was the Most Added AAA single in the US with more than 50 stations currently on the single.
Favorite Ghosts was released exclusively to radio on 6/17.
The album will be released to DSPs gradually over the coming months.
ALBUM FRONT COVER
Every cloud, no matter how dark, may just have a silver lining. Sibling rockers Jocelyn & Chris have been dancing in the rain for more than a decade, weathering every storm together. And as they prepare to release their eighth album Favorite Ghosts, they’ll emerge from the dark clouds of 2020 with a ferociously original work that might just be bottled modern-rock lightning.
“We’ve always written music together, and then we hit the road to support it. That’s just what we do,” Chris explains. “To have the world health circumstance take that away so suddenly… it really gave us appreciation for something we’d taken for granted. It also offered the opportunity to reflect.” Instead of falling idle, the siblings used this newfound time to reevaluate and reimagine their writing, embracing a chance to create the most authentic, meaningful songs of their career.
“When the dust settled, we really knew what felt right and what didn’t,” Jocelyn adds. “Because we'd had so much unexpected time to really live with each song, we were able to get uncomfortable and then find our way back to comfort.”
“My Favorite Ghost,” the album’s evocative title track, opened the door for what the ten songs on Favorite Ghosts would ultimately become. “We had this idea for this really stark song, and we weren’t sure if we would be able to pull it off,” Jocelyn recalls. But there was an immediacy to the song that just felt right. It met the moment, and in doing so, it foreshadowed the raw, genre-spanning emotion that would come to mark the rest of the record as well. “When we listened to it come together - that song is a perfect distillation of what I think our songwriting is. That let me know this was going to be a hell of a record.”
The album’s producers, long-time Jocelyn & Chris collaborator David Bourgeois and seven-time Grammy winner Joel Moss, were happy to facilitate the chaos. Instead of a heavy-handed approach, the two instead allowed each song to develop through the recording process uniquely. The result is a work that always chooses the power of telling a story over the temptation to conform to any one genre or style. “Someone Else’s Blood” hits with a hard rock vibe, while “Black and Blue” has a rollicking, bluesy slinkiness. “Popcorn” draws inspiration from the duo’s love of ‘90s indie, like Sixpence None the Richer and Gin Blossoms. “Lyrically, it’s tongue-in-cheek,” Jocelyn notes. “We wanted to make it sound as nostalgic as possible, but still make it us. That song surprised me. It’s like something from a rom-com that feels really warm and comfortable, but there’s also this undercurrent of cynicism and sadness.” She laughs. “Kind of like me.”
The album’s spicy, retro-rock leadoff single “Sugar and Spice” was released ahead of the album street date, making it the first song from Favorite Ghosts to see the daylight post-2020. And although Jocelyn & Chris were a bit trepidatious (“It’s nerve-wracking putting a song out there after so long!”) The track, driven by Chris’s infectious blues riff and Jocelyn’s singular vocals, saw commercial radio play coast to coast. “Run Away,” the album’s next single, delivers an anthemic pop-rock vibe with a very 2020-inspired message. “I think we’ve all wished we could run away at some point over the past couple of years,” says Chris. “This song is about taking that fear and turning it into strength. Our music has always been our source of power - I hope we can share that power with you.”
In conversation, Jocelyn & Chris are sincere, down-to-earth, kind, and well-spoken. Onstage, on the other hand, they’re confident, aggressive, and ferocious performers. It is this combination of raw energy and personal sincerity that permeates their recorded work. To truly understand, you simply have to listen. “We’ve always tried to write and perform what we feel, and in the past two years we’ve all felt a lot. We don’t create music to satisfy an algorithm,” Chris adds of the album’s impressive range. “Favorite Ghosts is a cohesive listening experience because it’s written to be lived in. It’s written for real people.” Song-to-song, the transformations they evoke may be unexpected and ferocious, but they are undeniably compelling, and undeniably Jocelyn & Chris.
Favorite Ghosts, recorded over the course of 2020 and 2021 at White Lake Music & Post and Clubhouse Studios, reflects on the things that haunt us: memories, past moments, parts of ourselves. While we can’t change what haunts us, we can welcome it as part of who we are. Each song reflects a slightly different facet of this idea. Listen closely and you might also pick up on classic lit references from The Bell Jar to The Turn of the Screw to help weave these lyrical stories.
“We all have these memories or parts of ourselves that, on the surface, are uncomfortable or make us feel lost,” Jocelyn says. “But when you put all those things together, you get the things that actually make you yourself. This album is about coming to terms with the ugly parts of ourselves and learning that they, too, are us. They’re our favorite ghosts. I’m always a proponent of letting the listener take their own meaning from our music. But overall, these songs are hopeful. The past few years have been a hard time to be hopeful. Writing this album gave me that hope again.”
Jocelyn & Chris have never written a song without each other. Their dream has always been shared, progressing from small-town garage-band beginnings to stages coast to coast while both also graduated from Harvard University (Yep, that Harvard). As indie artists, their approach is equal parts raw talent, irrefutable ambition, and genuine heart. Onstage, they’re dominating. Off, they’re delightful. Always, they’re family. With Favorite Ghosts, a powerful, undeniable set of songs, their joy for their art carries them forward once again, into a new chapter. Let it rain, let it pour. These two will continue to chase the thunder.
“This album feels like home,” Jocelyn says. “We’re here to tell stories and share emotions through music and just get lost in it all. It’s terrifying and electric and haunting and totally indescribable. And to be able to share that feeling - there’s nothing that could ever come close.”
All music written by Jocelyn & Chris. Produced by David Bourgeois and Joel Moss. Additional production by Brett Portzer. Recorded and mixed by Brett Portzer and David Bourgeois at White Lake Music & Post. Additional recording at Clubhouse Studios. Engineers: Brett Portzer, David Bourgeois, Shubham Mondal. Mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters.
Vocals: Jocelyn Arndt. Guitar: Chris Arndt. Drums, synth programming, and percussion: David Bourgeois. Bass: Dan Zavadil, Byron Isaacs, Dan Lawson. Keyboards: Tyrone Hartzog, Beau Sasser. Saxophone: Jeff Nania. Background vocals: Jocelyn Arndt, Chris Arndt, Bernie Barlow, Tyrone Hartzog, Kwilleo. Cover photo: Dino Petrocelli. Additional photography: Dino Petrocelli, Jordan Newman, Kiki Vassilakis. Album artwork: Jocelyn Arndt, Chris Arndt, Jordan Newman.
This record would not exist without the love, support, dedication, and straight-up badassery of so many people, and we'll be grateful always. Thank you to Mom and Dad, Anna and David, Thomas and Jojo, Joel, our terrific Bridge Road family, Paul and the folks at Clubhouse, and everyone who has lent their ears, hearts, and minds to the telling of this story. Lastly, to our Arndtvarks, you crazy, lovely, wonderful ragtag crew of dreamers and listeners and feelers: thank you for choosing to make our music your own. It's the greatest gift you could ever give. We love you. <3