Tasseomancy - the cooler word for tea-leaf reading - say that their album is “made for the deadbeats. It’s for the seasoned loners, stoners and lackadaisically laid. It’s soft survivalism for a generation that has lost hope.” The world is shaken by the election of Donald Trump, and perhaps this is just what the Doctor ordered.
In Do Easy, the twin sisters' second album, they give us some of the most retro-homage, sophisticated and immersive dream pop of 2016. It is undeniably calming; it’s not lazy. It sounds like a hell of a lot of work went into it.
Their first album, Ulalume was a collaborative effort with Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk. It saw them take a step away from their beginnings as members of the operatic-pop outfit Austra and into the world of acoustic, solemn and mystical folk. Conversely their second album, Palm Wine Revisited, was psychedelic, steel drum influenced, experimental magic. This saw Tasseomancy introduce a lot more to their sound. The duo became more experimental and this was mixed with some very 70s sounding pop.
A year later and their music has evolved again. Alongside bandmates Johnny Spence and Evan Cartwright, help comes in the form of saxophonist Brodie West and experimental electronics from Alex Cowan of Blue Hawaii. This musical formula has seen the band's style shift in to a glossy and glamorous territory. Even their album cover points you in the right direction, with the two laying in the clouds, as if they’ve secured a place in Elysium.
“Dead Can Dance & Neil Young” is the album’s opening track. As its name implies, it's an 80s inspired dream pop ballad: subtle synth is paired with glittering piano and lush vocals from the pair, who have a very Kate Bush vibe.
Elsewhere “Missoula” is an ethereal, slow burner with shimmering harmonies and a smooth saxophone. It’s stylish to say the least. There’s something in the dynamic of the vocals, too: their voices are so attuned to each other to near perfection.
Title track “Do Easy” oozes atmosphere again, with steel drums and harmonies on top of harmonies, and sounds that retracts back to verses of 80s synth pop. The following track “Do Easy Reprise” is the oceanic extension of the previous track. There are crashing waves, repetitive doo-wops and an echoed saxophone that makes you feel very out of this world.
Overall with this album, the band have focused a lot more on dream-y synth to navigate into daydream land. It’s subtle but powerful. There are not a lot of albums that can be commended for flowing by without being noticed, but given the chance, Do Easy eases you into a daydream-like trance. At the same time it's sleek and modern. Tasseomancy have struck heavenly gold with this album.
Release: 18th November 2016, Bella Union