Is There a Ghost

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"Is There a Ghost"
Single by Band of Horses
from the album Cease to Begin
Released August 28, 2007
Format radio and video single
Recorded Avast Studios
Genre Indie rock
Length 2:59
Label Sub Pop Records
Songwriter(s) Ben Bridwell, Rob Hampton and Creighton Barrett
Producer(s) Phil Ek
Band of Horses singles chronology
"The Great Salt Lake"
"Is There a Ghost"
"No One's Gonna Love You"
"The Great Salt Lake"
"Is There a Ghost"
"No One's Gonna Love You"

"Is There a Ghost" is the first single taken from Band of Horses' second album Cease to Begin, which was released on August 28, 2007. It reached #34 on the US Alternative Songs chart and #30 in Denmark, making it the band's most successful song until "Casual Party" reached #27 on the Alternative Songs chart in 2016.


The lyrics consist of two lines which are repeated throughout the song: "I could sleep, I could sleep. When I lived alone, Is there a ghost in my house?" According to the student newspaper The Reflector, "A simple finger-picked melody morphs into a strum-and-drum tour de force; there are layers of guitars, but not too much distortion.[1]

In general Cease to Begin has a more Southern rock, less indie sound than Band of Horses' debut album Everything All the Time. However, "Is There a Ghost" has a strong indie feel, in contrast to the rest of Cease to Begin.[2][3]


Critical response to the single was generally very favourable. An article in The Scotsman singled out "Is There a Ghost" as one of the main reasons that Band of Horses have received significant international attention,[4] however one reviewer disliked the "polished" sound of Cease to Begin, saying that, "In the switch from low to high fidelity, Band of Horses sacrifices a good deal of angst and quality."[5] Others were more enthusiastic, with one reviewer claiming that, "'Is There A Ghost' is the catchiest song with only 14 words to its credit since Pearl Jam's 'Smile'."[6]

Rolling Stone ranked "Is There a Ghost" at #93 in its 100 best songs of 2007.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
Denmark (Tracklisten)[8] 30


  • Ben Bridwell - Lead vocals, guitar
  • Rob Hampton - Guitar, bass guitar
  • Creighton Barrett - Drums
  • Ryan Monroe - Keyboards


  1. ^ Gregory, Nathan "Horses buck sophomore slump" The Reflector - October 11, 2007
  2. ^ Shea, Erin "Cease to Begin is introspective followup for Band of Horses" The Good 5 Cent Cigar - October 18, 2007
  3. ^ Grandy, Eric "Album Reviews" The Stranger - October 3, 2007
  4. ^ Pollock, David "Colts on the trail" The Scotsman - February 16, 2008
  5. ^ Herrmann, Zachary "Beginning of the end" The Diamondback - October 8, 2007
  6. ^ Hagen, Kelly "My top 10 album picks for the year" Bismarck Tribune - December 27, 2007
  7. ^ Castina, "Rolling Stone Magazine The 100 Best Songs Of 2007" Pop Crunch - December 13, 2007
  8. ^ " – Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost". Tracklisten.

External links[edit]