Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The songs on Rasputina's latest album, "Sister Kinderhook," add new folios to the old American book of 'lore and tall tales. Melora Creager, Daniel DeJesus and Melissa Bell write and play the way that people with big eyes and bottomless imaginations do. There's a touch of not having given up on stories and the fictional masterpieces that are woven together as the self-entertainment for children, playing around the legs of tables, in the boughs of trees, boxes of sand and beneath the stuffy covers of couch and blanket tents. We get to feel taken again, just like we were when we were young, or younger. They are tales with gravity and morals and heroes. There are giants and villains and everyone's getting themselves in fantastical situations and fantastical panics. It's as if these three Brooklyners still stare into crystals and wonder what makes those colors and all those prismatic effects happen. They think about the ocean and what's all out there, swimming around, lurking. They think about the woods and wonder the same about the lurking and even more about the tramping and camping. The sky and space, they can't imagine how tall it all goes and how widely it spreads. We seem to get these feelings in listening to these songs of swells and rhythmic streamers, as they don't merely pass through us, but find themselves burrowing in and getting comfortable. We can feel ourselves letting them put their feel up on the coffee table and raid the refrigerator for whatever will satisfy them - and it's then that they launch into their shining moments. They are songs that will take you over. They make you feel as if you are getting taken for a ride, as if you need to get a firm seat and hold tightly onto the reins, for it's going to get a little bumpy. There's a storm, or many storms a-comin' and there's nothing that's going to brace us for them as they're being hand-delivered by mythical creatures or beasts that are believed to be made up, not really here. We sense fear in these songs - in "Holocaust of Giants" - and we sense awe in these songs. It's part wonderment and it's part throwing a saddle on a humpback whale and trying to brave the sea that way, with the violent, salty splashes burning your eyes and wiping out your vision.