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.
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