The one thing you should see this week: quintessential autumn music from a pair of twin sisters
This week’s pick: Tasseomancy’s album release for Ulalume at the Great Hall.
There’s an otherworldly quality to a lot Tasseomancy’s music. The baroque-folk duo, made up of twins Sari and Romy Lightman, took their name from a word for tea-leaf reading, and their latest album, Ulalume—launching this Thursday at the Great Hall—is appropriately rooted in mysticism.
The band (formerly called Ghost Bees) is best known as an offshoot of Austra; they often perform alongside the Katie Stelmanis–led trio on tour. But whereas Austra is all synth and movement—the music taps into tangible pulse and beats—Tasseomancy is more ephemeral, relying on suggested presences rather than insistent rhythms. While previous outings focused on a traditional bare-bones folk aesthetic, they’ve adopted a fuller, more symphonic sound on their latest album, texturing their chilling minor-key melodies with pedals and drones.
The sisters sing with a brittle witchiness, reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, but without the sometime little-girl precociousness. Instead, Tasseomancy brings maturity to the atmospheric, ghostly songs on Ulalume (whose name was taken, fittingly, from an Edgar Allan Poe poem). Their voices are layered with echoing harmonies, and the lyrics reverberate with images of shadowy forests and uncanny encounters. This is autumn music at its best: romantic, diaphanous and just a little bit spooky.
The details: Oct. 20, 9 p.m. $10–$12. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-537-0803, thegreathall.ca.