The Casket Girls
The Casket Girls is a new three-piece band hailing from Savannah, GA. Comprised of Ryan Graveface (Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Marshmallow Ghosts, Dreamend) who wrote and played all the song structures, and newcomers, Elsa and Phaedra Greene, who wrote and performed all of the vocals. On Sleepwalking, the band’s first release, the unique collaboration bears to be more than the sum of its parts - as the girls’ haunting and upbeat pop sensibility imbues Ryan’s inspired instrumental musings with such a sense of purpose that you must wonder how one could exist without the other.
The Casket Girls happened - as most things do - by accident. Ryan was visiting his future home, and in walking through one of the city’s 22 squares, he happened upon two girls playing autoharp and singing bizarre songs. He watched from afar, eventually approaching them with the idea for the band. Ryan had been (and still is) obsessed with the Shangri-las, and the sisters personified his desire of a far darker and more complex version of the 60s group.
The band’s debut album, Sleepwalking, came about rather quickly. Ryan sent Elsa and Phaedra 20+ songs he thought they could add to, and they came back with vocals for 15 of them. He asked TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion, Soft Drugs, Headphones) to throw down some substantial drums to contrast the weaker drum machines he had already recorded, and the album was finished. Sleepwalking has a number of exceptional tracks that are sure to be anything from radio hits to jams blasted in the privacy of a nerd’s home. “Heartless” is a driving, yet depressive disco. The title track is a sweeping epic with bleakly resolute lyrics.
The Stargazer Lilies
The Stargazer Lilies slow motion bathing through space music is like sun glistening on the water in sound, ambient rock for daydreamers to bob their heads to. The Northeastern Pennsylvania based trio of guitarist/bassist/drummer/producer, John Cep, singer/bassist, Kim Field, and live drummers EJ DeCoske and Johnny Lancia, bring back the raw rock primal gaze, no bullshit sunshine haze.
The gazey dance floor where Soundpool, John & Kim’s previous band, dwelled lies behind them, while The Stargazer Lilies cosmic ambient arena lies ahead. Soundpool released three full-lengths in the last half decade, two on Aloft & Quince, and one on Killer Pimp. They shared the stage and in some cases toured with the likes of: Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, Asobi Seksu, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco and Robin Guthrie to name a few.
The Stargazer Lilies streamline and minimize Soundpool down to just the bare essentials, ridding themselves of the superfluous & getting down to the essence of what The Stargazer Lilies are: ~butterfly wings, slowly beating guitars enveloping the listener, ethereal breathy female vocals floating on a melody , rocked out bossa nova beats and bad ass bass throwing down the rhythm.
This new direction, like minimalism, gains strength by taking away and paring the instrumentation down to create vast vistas of sound.
Their debut album 'We Are The Dreamers' on Graveface Records was released Oct 22nd, 2013 with Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow curating the release.
- written by ben malkin
"And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave" is Part 2 to "So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite," which came out in August of 2010. Part 1 is the true story of a normal man's unraveling psyche and his grisly misdeeds. Years ago, I bought one of the real life serial killer's journals at an auction in the woods. I was so moved by his seeming mediocrity, that I had to write about him. Part 1 covers a fairly large span of time in his life - childhood to his thirties. Part 2 takes place after his initial taste for blood and accurately ends with his death.
A million things have changed in my life since I recorded Part 1: I've changed cities, lost a ton of stock in a flood, am involved in a lawsuit with my former distro, opened a record store and lost someone incredibly close to me. In the move from Chicago to Savannah, the moving company I hired to haul my things not only charged me several thousand dollars more than my quote, but when the stuff finally arrived (3 weeks later than promised) a great deal of it was destroyed. My cello neck was snapped in half, my banjo was butchered, my expensive bell set was somehow obliterated, my organ's insides were ripped to shreds, my main vocal mic was broken, not to mention all the damage they did to my non-musical possessions.
I was scheduled to record Part 2 in December, but I was unsure how to proceed. Since the main instrumentation was in shambles, I was forced to change my outlook on the album-making process. I recorded only using things mangled in the move. I felt that would parallel the storyline quite nicely. The result is a great deal of out of tune, broken and raw emotional sounds. You can hear these instruments dying with each note. Most of the percussion on the record is done by me bashing my anxiety pill bottles onto the floor or table. Oftentimes they are not even in beat. For the three weeks I recorded this album, I was at an all time low. This is some real downer music, but looking back, it was quite fun to make.
Like Part 1, the LP version of "And the Tears Washed Over Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave" is presented like a phenakistoscope, a classic Victorian animation machine. If you thought picture discs and colored vinyl were cool (both mediums you Graveface aficionados will know a lot about), wait until you get a load of William Schaff's painstaking, brilliantly delivered design. It's truly a remarkable accomplishment in the annals of the Album as Artform, which is a hallmark of Graveface Records.