Lusitanian Ghosts Reviews

Lusitanian Ghosts played their debut live show in Lisbon this past month of April. Here are a couple reviews:



From left to right: Micke Ghost, O Gajo, Neil Leyton, João Sousa, Omiri, Lil’ Ghost, Abel Beja.
Photo courtesy of: Tiago Leitão

And here’s what people are saying about the album:

“Past Laurels” is a catchy gem that wouldn’t be out of place on Pulp’s Different Class. – Paste Magazin

“You don’t need a degree in music (or ancient history) to appreciate the sonic riches of Lusitanian Ghosts, the Portuguese-Canadian collective of stringed-instrument musicians. You can bask in the richness of their sound without knowing a Beiroa from an upright bass. All you need is to hear the group play “Past Laurels” and you will be enticed into learning more. In a nutshell, Lusitanian Ghosts make modern masterpieces using rare (even medieval) instruments. The result is a mystifying sound you simply cannot find anywhere else. Even their band name is taken from ancient soil, as Lusitania was what the Romans called the region where this group began. Just don’t expect them to sound like they’re from Portugal. Frontman Neil Leyton returned to his birth city in 2008 after living in Toronto and London, so the band’s sound is unmistakably Canadian. It’s a guitar-driven, heady rock-pop anthem with unexpected lyrical references (“Encyclopedia Brittanica” and “idealistic futurism”, anyone?) that work. Don’t be deceived by the low-key beginning here: “Past Laurels” has plenty of bite.” – The Revue, Canada

It sizzles with harmonic flavors kicking out embers of sonic sparks. “Past Laurels” is indubitably excellent. Leyton’s voice radiates tumescent passion as the music builds, pauses, and then mousses up to actinic levels. This is a great song! If the rest of the album is half as good, it promises to be one of the best of the year. – Randall Radic, Blog Critics

One thing is for certain though; if college radio stations across North America are going to be blasting one record more than any other this summer, it’s going to be the much anticipated debut release from Portuguese alternative rock collective Lusitanian Ghosts, Lusitanian Ghosts (out this June 8th). While I wouldn’t go as far as to call it the orchestral watershed that pop/rock has been awaiting to follow up such world-shattering acts as the Beatles, there’s definitely a lot be excited about in Lusitanian Ghosts, both the band and the album. Lusitanian Ghosts is, from start to finish, the experimental record that it has been marketed to be. There’s no denying that some of the catchiest hooks that I’ve heard all year are on this record, especially in songs like “Past Laurels” and “Trailer Park Memories,” both of which I predict will receive a lot of airplay this summer. This album almost plays like a greatest hits record more than a debut LP, and that’s not a bad thing at all; it displays how mature this group of composers and performers are both on an individual level and as a collective force.Even if this is the first time that you’re hearing about them, I think music fans of all backgrounds would be wise to give Lusitanian Ghosts a close examination to see why my fellow critics and I are discussing this band at such length. Very rarely does a group inspire this much dialogue before a record has even been released, and even less often does that record leave the warm impression that this one has. It’s worth taking note. – Drew Blackwell, Music Existence

It’s hard to pin down where our sonic adventure will take us throughout Lusitanian Ghosts, but the narrative remains the same; never stop pushing forward, exploring, and bearing in mind the antiquity of the lands we’re exploring. Somehow in creating a record that was meant to pay tribute to this group’s diverse background of influences and forerunners, the Ghosts have created something defiantly modern and joyously different for critics and audiences to fawn over together. – John McCall, Too Much Love

Experimentalism is alive and well in pop music today, and nowhere is it being exhibited with more catharsis and genuine dedication than in Lusitanian Ghosts. I can attest that all of the buzz surrounding this release is more than justifiable. If you’re a fan of provocative, intellectually stimulating rock music, this is a must-listen album that I highly recommend.
– Mindy McCall, No Depression

Lusitanian Ghosts: Limited Edition Art Prints by Alexandre Alonso

Oil on Canvas / LP album Cover by Alexandre Alonso

The Lusitanian Ghosts' oil-painted vinyl album cover is ready! Artist Alexandre Alonso, a true music lover and guitar player in his own right has worked throughout the Summer season and into the Fall on this 1,90m x 1,90m canvas of the Lusitanian Ghosts, and is readying a limited edition run of art prints in time for Xmas!

Those who order the art-print will also receive a download link for the first digital edition of the Lusitanian Ghosts' debut album - the vinyl is scheduled for an April 2019 release date along with the digital "Deluxe Edition" with the full track listing, including the unreleased Leyton/Lundin composition, written on the Amarantina, "Memories of a Once Familiar Future".

Order here for EU, US & Canada, or R.O.W. rest of the world deliveries:

EU orders (free shipping): 150 €: click "Buy Now / Comprar Agora":


North-American orders: 150 € + 35 € shipping: "Buy Now / Comprar Agora":


R.O.W orders: 150 € + 50 € shipping for the rest of the world: "Buy Now":


Thank you for your order!


Lusitanian Ghosts: the story so far…

Portugal is the oldest country in present-day Europe, they say: founded in 1128 with its borders largely unchanged since the end of the “reconquista” in 1249, from the Minho Province to the Algarve. Long before that, the Romans called it Lusitania, as before them it was home to several Celtic tribes, with central Portugal being home to one of the main tribes who fought the Romans, the Lusitanians.

Music has strong roots in Portugal, long before Fado was invented: Arabic influences are felt to this day. It is a country rich in a wide regional variety of cordophones and other instruments on the verge of extinction. These, we very affectionately call the Lusitanian Ghosts.

Pictured on Lusitanian Ghosts’ first promo photo is a modern-day Viola Beiroa, with its drone double D string called “requinta”, made by Braga town luthier company APC Instruments. APC is one of a few companies keeping these old cordophones from extinction by making a whole new generation of Beiroas, Amarantinas, Toeiras, Campaniças, Braguesas and other guitars, each with its own particular tuning and in several variations of 8, 10, 12 and 15 strings.

Portuguese-Canadian indie-rock artist Neil Leyton, returned to Portugal in 2008 and has spent the better part of the last decade getting to know the Portuguese music industry after living in Canada, UK and Sweden; and he now presents us with a new album, the debut from Lusitanian Ghosts.

Drawing on several local as well as international musicians of several aesthetics, it is a rock n roll singer-songwriter record where we find Leyton and his merry men and women immersed in a no-rules approach to musical exploration, anchored in rock n roll but showcasing to the world what these old Portuguese guitars sound like, not necessarily played by “proper musicians”, as Leyton considers himself primarily a singer – although he surrounds himself with some great friends on the album:

Micke Ghost – Swedish guitar player, who accompanied Leyton on his “Betrayal of the Self” album and tour between 2005-2008. Leyton bought him an APC Amarantina back in 2016 and the first song Micke played on it was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”;

Vasco Ribeiro Casais – Multi-instrumentalist (ex-Dazkarieh, Seiva, Omiri projects);

Guillermo de Llera – Founder of Primitive Reason, The High Djinn, Mokscha Burning, Red Shield and other projects;

Abel Beja – Primitive Reason guitarist & guitar teacher, master of his Terceira;

O Gajo – master of the Campaniça

João Sousa aka Johnny Dynamite – Drummer with Murdering Tripping Blues and many others.

The first song released by the project, back in 2015, was the single “Blossom”, recorded by Leyton in the town of Setúbal with remote contributions from Sweden courtesy of Micke Ghost; the track also features Leyton’s grandfather’s old Cavaquinho:

It took a couple more years for Leyton to write the remaining material that will make up their debut album, with production underway with the precious collaboration of Portuguese hit-making producer Ricardo Ferreira of Blim Records Studios (Aurea, Ana Stilwell, Lionskin and others) and sound engineer / mixed Nelson Canoa.