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Album Review: The Casket Girls – True Love Kills the Fairy Tale

B-

Artists

Formats

  • digital
  • vinyl
  • cd
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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).

An eerier version of the dream pop outfit’s 2012 debut, Sleepwalking, the record recalls both ‘60s girl groups and staticky garage rock. The pleasant, dreamy vocals of the Greene sisters combine with distorted power chords in a blend of subdued haze and aggression. The passive delivery of drug and love-related lyrics suggest anger teeming beneath a calm visage — the swirling, frenzied emotions of a composed person about to crack.

The Greene sisters capture that hidden fury visually, as well, with their minimal stage presence and lack of expression, as they perform in disguises for their live shows and offbeat videos. But even under the mask of sunglasses and blonde wigs, the emotion pours from True Love Kills the Fairy Tale. Lead single “Day to Day” exemplifies the tension of the record with its blend of mind-bending distortion and tranquil vocals, while the disoriented Secular Love” plunges even deeper into the restless mind of the album. Even though the tracks lack major distinction from one another, the prolonged dreaminess successfully evokes a drugged-up stream of consciousness, bringing the love and substance-induced coma under which the album was produced to life.

The Casket Girls capture the whole idea behind the record in standout track “Chemical Dizzy”, as they croon, “You and I are like water and fire/ Opposites only exist with each other.” The key to the album is contradiction, between the vocals and instrumentation, between the lack of expression and the outpouring of emotion. These contradictions make True Love Kills the Fairy Tale a chemical concoction that listeners, like The Casket Girls, will want to get strung out on.

Essential Tracks: “Chemical Dizzy”, “Secular Love”

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