Ghost Bees: Tasseomancy
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Where does the line between tribute end and rip-off begin? It’s a tough question that has no easy answers, but the whole problem gets even tougher when confronting Ghost Bees’ debut EP. Tasseomancy flat out is a Joanna Newsom album, replete with the high-pitched yelping and elegantly-picked song structures. The problem simply lies in the fact that the Bees (sisters Romy and Sari Lightman) do absolutely nothing to break out of the template that Newsom has established for herself over the past couple years. The vividly-descriptive, epic-story song lyrics? Check. Gentle acoustics that give off a very wood-nymph kind of vibe? Check. The whole set tends to blur together due to its introverted nature, though the title track and poorly-recorded (and therefore texturally different) hidden track at the end both manage to stand out a bit more, all while the girls’ tales of familial homicide attempts pepper the aural landscape. If you absolutely can’t wait for the next Newsom record, then this might tide you over. Otherwise, just think of this imitation band as transparent as their name.
Evan Sawdey began contributing to PopMatters in late 2005 after contributing for years to his college newspaper The Knox Student
. Evan became the Associate Interviews Editor for PopMatters in the summer of 2008, and then the full Interviews Editor a year after that. Since joining, Evan's work has been written for and been quoted/featured in a wide array of publications including SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle
album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com
), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C.
(Big Break Records) and the 2012 re-releases of Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder's standalone 1985 pop effort
(Virgin/Gold Legion), the JoBoxers' 1983 debut album Like Gangbusters
, 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry
, and Plastic Bertrand's 1978 album AN 1
(all Hot Shot Records). He is a current member of The Recording Academy and resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye
should you be so inclined.
Soundcheck with Ghost Bees