GOASTT Stories (ep)
Since the incredible Midnight Sun, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (the duo comprised of
Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon) continues to find things to say, and in fresh ways> There was the really great Long Gone EP and now this 10” EP, GOASTT Stories.
Those psychedelic and swirling-60s tones and feels still there, sure, but this brings another side into the sound – not so much/not just an acoustic, softer/gentler set of ideas and arrangements, more diverse. The track India is a career highlight, reaching out past the obvious comparisons that have to be made between Sean’s voice and his father’s, the music here feels nothing like The Beatles, but obviously picks up on some of those late-60s ideals of reaching out wide to pull external things back into a pop framework. Here it’s like Meddle-era Pink Floyd the way the final chord progression unfurls, and those vamping organ stabs and slushes, also very Floyd-ian. Lovely stuff too.
The piano intro to closer, Richard Brown, shows that if you have to look at The Beatles then Sean was most certainly listening to what McCartney brought to that band – the sensibility, the framing devices, the clever arrangements – but again why restrict ourselves to just that. Here GOASTT touch on French music from the 60s, on European gypsy-jazz and those lovely, ever-so-slightly off-kilter melodies and harmonies.
Pierrot’s another Floyd-esque swirl of acoustic guitar, voices and keys all gently, lovingly blurred. And the EP’s opening track, Casanova, begins with a lullaby-cuteness that goes back to the Syd-era of Pink Floyd before becoming altogether more tuneful, more robust.
Charlotte and Sean are both serving up great work here – their vocals (shared and independent) are sublime and the idea that this unit, the GOASTT, can go anywhere, can do anything, is becoming more obvious with each and every release. A really great band serving up clever, catchy, quirky music.