Sometimes you have to get away from home to find out who you are. Toronto dream-folk band Tasseomancy's last album, 2015's Palm Wine Revisited, was partially recorded in Kensington Market, and at Artscape Gibraltar, but for their new release, Do Easy (out now on Hand Drawn Dracula) they've been further afield.
"We're always interested in places that are no one's home — liminal spaces, where the usual rules don't apply, like train stations, or 24-hour diners," says Romy Lightman.
Sari Lightman, her twin sister and co-frontwoman, joins in. "Midnight diners are a rebellion against the very way we order our time, of the separation of day and night. And if we're on 'Tasseotime,' we keep no respectable or predictable hours."
Los Angeles, one of those further afield places they've found themselves, has often been mythologized as one big borderline space. In songs by Tom Waits, or novels by Raymond Chandler, the city comes off as a home of permanent nomads. No wonder time spent living and recording there has altered the Lightman's point of view.
"There's no where to go in L.A., no where you could walk to or ride your bike," Romy explains, "And we like being hobbits who stay in our village and know everybody. For us, living in L.A. was a social science experiment. We weren't, like, the small-town kids hopping off the bus in bowties, hoping to 'make it.' We're more interested in the kind of artists that have a slow burn, that are allowed to take the time to get really good at what they do."
Romy refers to Toronto songwriter Jennifer Castle as the sort of artist to take as a career model, "She's always doing something interesting, something different. And people know to sort of leave a space for her."
Sari agrees, "And that's what we've been doing on this album, looking for inspiration to people who've made a life that pushed against those conventional paths."
In that vein, Tasseomancy have a song on Do Easy based on one of Colette's early novels, Claudine and Annie. The French writer's career is another source of inspiration. "In her 20s and 30s, she was married to a publisher who took her books and printed them under his own name," explains Sari. "So she split and started over, became a vaudeville performer, and wrote provocative, experimental, exciting books."
"As a culture, we undermine the small things. We want the big flashy thing," says Romy. "And doing easy feels like giving yourself more choices. It's like doing your cosmic laundry. Nobody wants to do it, but it's the only way to do things your way."
Check out the video for "Missoula" below.