The Casket Girls, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale

Annie Zaleski

By Annie Zaleski

on 02.11.14 in Reviews

True Love Kills the Fairy Tale

The Casket Girls

On their second full-length, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, the spooky electrogaze trio Casket Girls — sisters and co-vocalists Phaedra and Elsa Greene and label head/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Graveface — often sound like a gothic girl-group gang plotting revenge. “I swatted at a moth and a chill came over me/ It was simple on my part, but it left him spinning,” the sisters half-sing, half-chant on opening track “Same Side.” True Love blends sugary, sing-song vocals full of sinister intentions (think Nancy Sinatra circa “Some Velvet Morning” or the Raveonettes’ Sharin Foo) with creepy droning organ, swathes of grinding keyboard noise and electronic drums. The results are unnerving, a mixture of sweetness and unease: haunted-house synthpop (“Ashes and Embers”), frothy digital chill-outs (the M83-esque “Holding You Back”) and antique-sounding goth-pop (“Secular Love”).

Sugary, sing-song vocals full of sinister intentions

True Love also has a narcotic-woozy feel, with its dirge-like tempos and depictions of heartbreak devolving into numb self-medication, lonely ennui and dull regret. Highlight “Stone and Rock” focuses on the mutability of life and how easily faith in something solid can disintegrate — “Put your right hand up to heaven/ In case there is a God” — while on “Chemical Dizzy,” the sisters sing “There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded heart.” The line could either be a heartbreak lament or an ominous warning shot, and True Love is rich and delightfully unsettled enough to support both meanings.