Branden Barnett is a prolific singer-songwriter hailing from Tampa Bay, Florida, best known as the creative force behind the Ohio band Ghost Shirt. With a soulful voice and masterful songwriting, Barnett has captivated audiences with his devastating lyrics and sing-along melodies for 20 years.

In 2024, Barnett will release the highly anticipated new Ghost Shirt record “Crayon Dragon” on legendary Ohio label Anyway Records (Guided by Voices, Times New Viking) alongside his second solo album “Hungry Ghost” and an EP with his band The Sugar Bats, a collaboration with Tampa Bay musical theatre legend Coleen Cherry. 

Influenced by the emotive storytelling of indie folk stalwarts like Ben Gibbard, Phoebe Bridgers and Neutral Mill Hotel, Barnett weaves rich harmonies and introspective melodies into his compositions. His music echoes the profound lyricism of iconic songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Elliott Smith, while embracing the atmospheric soundscapes and anthemic fervor reminiscent of The National and Arcade Fire. Through this diverse tapestry of influences, Barnett has crafted a musical legacy marked by authenticity and an unwavering commitment to storytelling through song.



“I remember my first time hearing this band. It was late last year, the song was “History Of The Radio,” and 30 seconds in I went Kool-Aid man onto the Ghost Shirt bandwagon. I immediately played “Radio” again, just to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. I’ve had this experience with 3 (now 4) songs: * Beatles, Happiness Is A Warm Gun * Flaming Lips, Five Stop Mother Superior Rain * Teenage Fanclub, The Concept Who has the balls, let alone talent, to join that triumvirate of awesome??? Five songs into their career and they’re already in the pantheon.” - The Adios Lounge Music Blog” - Lance Davis

The Audios Lounge Music Blog

In recent months, however, Barnett found himself again writing the kinds of songs that required the resilient, protective space afforded by Ghost Shirt, coming off a stretch in which he lost an uncle to the coronavirus and watched his grandfather die of Alzheimer’s. This in addition to his own bout with long COVID, which temporarily left Barnett with debilitating neurological symptoms. “I couldn’t get out of bed for a month, and I couldn’t remember how to type and write and all of this other stuff,” he said. “There was just a lot of grief and loss and death.”” - Andy Downing

Matter News

"like the pixies fronted by Roy Orbison"”

— Artvoice Bufalo

Maybe someday I'll write an essay about how much Columbus bands like Ghost Shirt meant to a perpetually tired, part-time music blogger who was stumbling his way forward while trying to parent two toddlers.” - Joe Oliphant

— Columbus Alive

His music reflects this agitated mindstate, swinging from shaggy acoustic laments (the title track) to indie-rock epics awash in orchestral flourishes (the grandiose, Arcade Fire-like “Devils”). Throughout, Barnett sings of swarming angels and demons, though there’s a gnawing sense the latter is winning the battle for supremacy. “Oh, what devils we’ll make with our fiery wings,” the band sings triumphantly on one number.” - Joe Oliphant

— The Other Paper