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Ghost Bees

Tasseomancy

(Youth Club; US: 15 Apr 2008; UK: Unavailable)

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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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album, and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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