[Album Review] Tasseomancy- Palm Wine Revisited
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tasseomancy

Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Label: Healing Power Records

Originally billed as Ghost Bees, the twin sisters Romy and Sari Lightman have been enchanting us for several years with their mystical folk, but they really outdo themselves with the stunning ‘Palm Wine Revisited’.  Along with bandmates Johnny Spence (leopards) and Evan Cartwright (percussion) they put together a moody and heady brew of baroque folk and experimental electronica.

Delving into the album is to plunge into a murky unknown. Although some of the songs hark back to late ’60s chamber pop (especially “The Grass Harp” and “What Life Must I Lead”) and others may remind you of the Cocteau Twins (“Apophenia”, for example) these are but vague and dimly lit markers in an eerie soundscape that Tasseomancy creates for itself. Several instrumental passages punctuate the space with a haunting mix of flute, chimes and steel pan. Things are no less unnerving when the singing commences. On “Braid. Wind is Coming” the lead vocalist (I must confess I do not know which twin is which) sounds uncomfortably close as she breathes “My true love’s here.” And on “Apophenia” there is a reverb on the otherwise ethereal vocals that lend a spectral quality.

Disquieting, yes, but intoxicating and enthralling nevertheless. Like sirens of the underworld, Tasseomancy entices you to follow them into a shadowy unfamiliar realm. You willingly follow because their magnetic pull is stronger than any fear or trepidation you may have.

As they weave their black magic, Tasseomancy are careful to strike a balance between innovation and popular appeal. They certainly cannot be accused of pandering to the masses or shooting for ready consumption, and yet they keep their experimental leanings in check to the degree that you are willing to follow them knowing that they will not take advantage by pushing beyond the bounds of the listenable.