CASKET GIRLS – True Love Kills the Fairy Tale

Album: True Love Kills the Fairy Tale

Artist: Casket Girls

Label: Graveface

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Casket Girls 2-11

www.graveface.com

BY MARK JENKINS

According to producer-arranger Ryan Graveface, the non-female member of the Casket Girls, the trio’s True Love Kills the Fairy Tale was written by sibling vocalists Phaedra and Elsa Greene in some sort of dream state. Maybe so, or perhaps the Savannah trio just thought Graveface’s weird tale would suit its ghostly style and seemingly macabre name. But the album actually boasts some classic pop virtues, even if they’re veiled in mist and myth.

The term “casket girl” derives not from the cemetery but from the French: A fille a la casquette was an innocent young woman sent to the 18th-century Gulf Coast to marry, with her clothes in a small chest. That doesn’t have much to do with the music of these Girls, which is in the tradition of Lush, Human League and the Ronettes. But the twinned vocals float above the sometimes clunky electrobeats and pierce the aural fog in a way that does suggest the sisters’ voices emanate from the past, or even from beyond this mortal coil (to invoke another 4AD band).

Stately yet sweet, such tunes as “Same Side” and “The Chase” wrap simple melodies and gentle harmonies in slo-mo din. The formula — and the tempo — never really varies, although some of the musical settings are craggier than others. Such highlights as “Chemical Dizzy” and “Day to Day” feature rusty guitar and grubby synth, but also glockenspiel-like chimes and ethereal sopranos. The combination is shadowy, but far from gloomy.

DOWNLOAD: “Day to Day,” “Chemical Dizzy,” “Same Side”

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