Frankly, the vocals of Romy and Sari Lightman are so angelic that the pair could put out an album of nursery rhymes and it would sound just fine. But the twins (along with Johnny Spence on keys and Evan Cartwright on drums) are known to do a lot more than that, having developed a reputation for producing art pop with an experimental bent. It may come as a bit of a surprise then that ‘Do Easy’ finds them in the seemingly safe territory of folk-related soft pop.
Not surprisingly, the title track serves as a focal point for the album, and clearly defines the overall tone and style. Despite starting out with a sample from the unquestionably odd William S. Burroughs, “Do Easy” is bouncy and easy-going, making it an accessible listen for virtually any ears. There are complexities at work, but they are subtle in nature, such as the way the signature steel drums ease their way into mix or the shift to a heavenly chorus at the bridge. Your ear picks up on these things and so a fuller appreciation builds with each repeated listen.
And so it is with pretty all of the music on ‘Do Easy’ — it is not overtly challenging but there is a richness to be found as one listens closer. The melodies, for one thing, always contain an element of mystery, bringing to mind the great singer-songwriter Kate Bush (especially on cuts like “Dead Can Dance & Neil Young”). Then there are the vocal harmonies, which can switch the tone of a song from, say, reflective to celebratory, or from communicative to mysterious. They can also be used to introduce some slight discordance, such as on “Gentle Man”, turning soft folk into something far more interesting.
So fans should not despair — Tasseomancy has not abandoned their unconventional approach, it’s just that their experimentation is a lot less noticeable. When one gets to “Missoula”, however, with its intoxicating exotica it is hard not to wish that the balance of the album was as equally otherworldly.