With all the changes in popular music over the decades, the stereotypes about being…
- Posted on Sep 21st 2011 2:30PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Courtesy of Tasseomancy
Sari and Romy Lightman continue to play off their impeccable harmonies and primordial rootsy sound, but they've taken their particular brand of neo-folk into decidedly spookier territory on their new album, 'Ulalume' (that it's titled after a 19th century Edgar Allan Poe poem certainly hints at the album's creative direction).
It comes as little surprise, then, to find that the album was co-produced by Taylor Kirk and Simon Trottier of the like-minded Timber Timbre -- in fact, given that the pair also contributes vocals and instrumentation to the record, it's perhaps to be expected that 'Ulalume' often sounds like a female-fronted take on a Timber Timbre record.
Though 'Ulalume' seems to benefit from the influence of the Lightman sisters' musical collaborators (their music has always been sepia-toned, but there's an even darker edge to the new material that appears to have rubbed off from their side gig in Austra), that's not to say they've lost the quirky originality first displayed in Ghost Bees (in a sense, they've only come full circle, given that their 2008 debut EP as Ghost Bees was titled 'Tasseomancy') -- their otherworldly harmonies and distinctively off-kilter melodies ensure that Tasseomancy is unlike anything else out there.
Their bio lists "eastern song, drone music, phonography, and myth" among the duo's artistic touchstones, and as slightly cryptic as that inventory may sound, one can hear all of the above in tracks like 'Heavy Hands (Will Mourn You), which opens with the twins' high, eerie harmonies backed by little more than a slow-shuffle tambourine beat.
Fans of Timber Timbre will immediately recognize Kirk's sonic touch here -- the sparse, dusty vibe allows the vocals to take center stage to tell the story: "All is lost/When you walked into the room," the sisters intone, sending an uneasy shiver down the listener's spine.
The term "tasseomancy" is another word for tasseography, or the art of telling fortunes from patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments. If the musical company they keep and their willingness to experiment and keep developing creatively are any indication, Tasseomancy's fortune is likely to be very good, indeed.
Download: Tasseomancy, 'Healthy Hands (will mourn you)' (MP3)