Hallucinatory, spectral folk debut from NY sisters Sierra and Bianca Cassidy
They sound like they’re singing each other to sleep, weaving glinting strands of remarkable imagery (“If blue-eyed babes/Raised as Hitler’s little brides and sons/They got angelic tendencies/Like some boys tend to act like queens”?”Terrible Angels”) into a drowsy, intoxicating reverie. A writer more prone to hyperbole might imagine a post-digital Karen Dalton possessing the bodies of conjoined twins raised in the crumbling decadence depicted in Kennedy-scion documentary Grey Gardens. Self-produced, La Maison… is an eerie, sparse, haunted record; instrumentation that sounds like field recordings, or sounds transferred from well-worn 78s, threaded around unfussy synthetic clicks and glitchy backing and delicate harp runs, lovely as unexpected pools of sunlight. Then there are the voices:a lilting, jazzy rasp (very Karen Dalton), oddly child-like sighs, a soaring but never overbearing operatic trill, like the return of an echo. They sing words that twist and turn, resisting interpretation but operating, surely, by their own internal logic, dipped in a kind of Southern gothic both sensual and ominous. Their own lines, “A mumble so dreamy/A soft sound so creamy”, go a little of the way towards capturing the magic of this curious, bewitching record; a kiss in the dreamhouse, indeed.