Singer-songwriter Mike Doughty, who is best known for his work with the 1990s alternative rock band Soul Coughing, has announced a new project Ghost of Vroom alongside bassist and longtime collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston. This new group will be releasing their debut EP, Ghost of Vroom 2 on September 25 via Mod y Vi Records.
The group has released their debut single “Rona Pollona” as well, which was created by fellow independent singer-songwriter SWIVS. This video shows a hand with a glove scrolling through what appears to be an Instagram feed, going across various images that refer to the song’s lyrics. The song sounds like a throwback to some early 1990s Beck, with clear hip hop influences on the beat and a humble rapping vocal style that emulates the influence of tracks such as “Loser.” A wonky cello and trombone inflections give the track some further personality, while the song’s lyrics refer to the coronavirus pandemic.
Soul Coughing came out of the expansive 1990s alternative rock sound with diverse influences including jazz grooves, unique sampling, hip hop, electronica and noise experimentation. The band broke up in 2000, however Doughty has gone on his own as a solo artists, releasing 18 studio albums to date. According to a press release, this new group was originally intended to be a return of Soul Coughing, while the project’s name was originally intended as a successor to that group’s 1994 classic Ruby Vroom.
“It’s this ghostly version of Soul Coughing—this step that was never taken,” Doughty states. “That idea stepped out of my consciousness and said, ‘This is where you’re at.'”