Release Date: Feb 11, 2014
Record label: The Orchard Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Alternative Dance, Neo-Disco
The Casket Girls (a.k.a. sisters Elsa and Phaedra Greene and producer/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Graveface) draw on all things cabalistic for their sophomore album, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale. And it bears mentioning that this is a trio for whom the occult is not merely flavor-of-the-month affectation. According to Graveface, he dropped off a handful of instrumental tracks to the sisters, and when he returned, they were reading poetry to each other in a trance-like state, one sobbing and the other furiously scribbling lyrics.
The Casket Girls' 2012 debut, Sleepwalking, was a darkly haunted affair, its creepy textures and cemetery-at-midnight harmonies the result of a chance meeting between Black Moth Super Rainbow's Ryan Graveface and sisters Elsa and Phaedra Greene. Graveface gave the relative strangers a stack of instrumentals he'd been working on and the sisters fleshed them out into full-on songs with their dour lyrical imagery and untrained, homespun melodies. For second album True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, the trio repeated this somewhat unorthodox creative process, again calling on drummer TW Walsh to play live percussion over Graveface's roller-rink electronic rhythms.
A long, long time ago, Johnny Lydon famously declared “Rock and roll is over, don’t you understand?” While millions of hip hop fans must disagree, it’s hard to deny the ol’ coot was on to something. Pretty much every form of pop music seems to reference another form; it’s no accident that two of last year’s “songs of the summer” borrowed heavily from Marvin Gaye and Chic respectively, and a third appropriated the kick of the Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight”. But if there’s nothing new under the sun, at least our forefathers left around a lot of ore, and The Casket Girls do some pretty impressive mining with True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, their second album of fuzzy, electronic darkwave pop.
As Else Greene explained in a recent interview, the best word to describe The Casket Girls’ True Love Kills the Fairy Tale is balance. While the enigmatic Ryan Graveface produced the album spontaneously (in a few days under the influence of homemade absinthe and recent heartbreak), the elements that constitute the sophomore LP evoke a sense of stability. When one side of the album dips into discord, the other levels it with harmony (whether literal or figurative).
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.