Down the Rabbit Hole 

Haunted by the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

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THE GHOST of a Saber Tooth Tiger is a mouthful. The band name does not flow freely when used in conversation, and creates even heftier roadblocks when assembled anywhere in the middle of a sentence. Though, it is notably peculiar that when viewed acrostically it spells "GOASTT," which when pronounced, reads like "ghost." Call it a stretch, but after spending ample time in the world of Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl's Acoustic Sessions, it seems the least bizarre of observations to be made.

In the couple's self-released debut, the boundaries of reality are treated as they are in Dadaist paintings: Freudian slips and cheap pursuits are worn as evening attire, your closet's skeletons try on your clothes, and vital objects are made of cheese (namely, your brain and the moon). And while these images are ostensibly playful and often sung with the lilt of a wind-up music box, there is something mysterious to be sniffed out—a lurking darkness that's lodged in the crux of life and dreams.

Which is why, when asked what breeds their songs, Muhl simply replies, "We get very inspired with post-apocalyptic fantasies just when reading the newspaper."

Muhl also mentions that she and Lennon equally engage in all aspects of the curious tunesmithing. "Our band is like a two-headed animal: a chimera," she writes, which is easily gathered from their performance. Muhl's airy, fine-spun vocals merge beautifully with Lennon's strikingly familiar voice as they seamlessly trade melodies and harmonies while sifting through a stockpile of acoustic instruments. Lennon marks time with successive fingerpicking and a kick drum, while Muhl blurs it with eerily winding melodicas and accordions. And as the record spins, a careful listener can begin to anthropomorphize the balancing of light and dark, much like the mythical beast itself.

There was talk of re-releasing a plugged-in version of Acoustic Sessions, but that has since been scrapped. Instead, Muhl mentions that the duo have already broke ground on a psychedelic-electric album entitled Victorian Cyborg. And after a long, strange trip through GOASTT's debut, one can only begin to imagine what surrealist fantasia Lennon and Muhl will create next.

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