Allyson Baker doesn’t scare easily. Back in the ’90s, she was sneaking into Dwarves shows and frequenting mosh pits before she was barely out of junior high; by age of 17, she was playing guitar for some of Toronto’s most notorious punk and hardcore bands (Teen Crud Combo R.I.P.), before leaving her friends and family behind in 2000 to shake some action in San Francisco. And yet, for all her apparent fearlessness, Allyson is very much haunted by forces beyond her control. Dirty Ghosts may be her new band, but it’s the five-years-in-the-making product of a habit she just can’t quit, a sound and vision that—despite numerous obstacles along the way—just had to be unleashed.
“Music takes complete control over me, and then just when I think the feeling’s gone, it comes back. It’s a total love/hate thing: I love it because making music makes me feel so happy, but it kind of does the opposite, in that it takes over to the point where I can’t make any rational decisions about anything else in my life. But I have this weird passion for music—there’s nothing else I really want to do.”
And, as this dead-cool debut ultimately proves, good things happen when you refuse to give up the ghost.