Published Jun 02, 2015If Romy and Sari Lightman are still finding inspiration on hikes through enchanted forests and along meandering creeks, they're taking the bus to get there and finding loopy robot sentinels from the future upon arrival.
The Toronto twins cut their teeth as a musical outfit making witchy acoustic folk on their 2011 debut and the Ghost Bees EP track they took their present working name from. On Palm Wine Revisited, the minimal, spooky-serene soundscapes and interwoven vocals about rituals involving wedding dresses and drums suggest Tasseomancy are still operating in the same realm they always have, but their new record finds them dialling back their gothier sensibilities to let more puckish impulses manifest.
Contracting Evan Cartwright and Johnny Spence to assist with percussion and keyboard duties, this record is generally lighter and more upbeat than anything Tasseomancy have previously released, perforated by instrumentals built on fluttering steel pan percussion. Songs like "Apophenia" and "The Grass Harp" are poppier performances, but they're firmly embedded in folk traditions, and might as well have sprung from campfire story circles. Other tracks might mark Tasseomancy's first acknowledgement of their contemporary situation.
"Braid. Wind is Coming" recounts a bus ride with someone dear, while "Reality" is a major sonic detour. It trades out a fascination with sounds evoking nature and the past for an amusing song that sounds more like an interaction with a babbling robot that speaks only in song, complete with flourishes of mind-bending digital delay knobbing.
Palm Wine Revisited is an enchanting and rewarding listen that transports you to an exotic and mystical land for half an hour and change, but the Lightmans don't need a particularly long time to work their magic. You'll find yourself returning to this record again and again to relive its charm. (Healing Power)