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On Deck: The Casket Girls

By ; May 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM 


Formed by sisters Elsa & Phaedra Greene and Ryan Graveface (who runs Graveface Records), The Casket Girls is the outlet for the trio to explore their combined love of 60’s girl groups and dark pop melodicism. But as is the case oftentimes with bands, these three people were brought together by chance—the sisters’ relationship notwithstanding. Ryan was walking through one of Savannah, GA’s 22 squares when he randomly came across the Greene sisters singing and playing autoharp. After listening to them for some time, he approached the duo with his idea for the band. Through his admitted love of the Shangri-La’s and Elsa and Phaedra’s complex vocal harmonies, the musical direction of the band was set in place early on.

The band’s debut Sleepwalking was released to acclaim last year via Graveface Records and the trio recently followed it up with a self-titled mini-LP. Showcasing the group’s inventive and eclectic re-imagining of bands like the Shangri-La’s and The Shirelles, along with a harder pop edge that seems to suit the sisters just fine, The Casket Girls has grown into its chameleonic skin rather quickly. Recently, Phaedra spoke with Beats Per Minute about a few of the records which have made a lasting impression on her and which have influenced the way in which she approaches the music of The Casket Girls. Drawing on artists such as Alice Cooper, The Shirelles, and Tomita (among others), Phaedra uses this list as a way of talking a bit about the origins of The Casket Girls’ sound. Check out her full list below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.

Tomita - The Bermuda Triangle
Tomita – The Bermuda Triangle

Elsa got this record at a garage sale just based on the cover. But the album is amazing! I’d say music to vacation to, if you like vacationing in potential vortexes. This is a fun record to turn up really loud and invite people over. They always look really confused when they walk in.

Magnum Mysterium I - A special collection of sacred music classics
Magnum Mysterium I – A Special Collection of Sacred Music Classics

Sacred music is the best. It’s sacred, right?! We love to get dressed for shows while listening to this. There’s nothing like putting on torn fishnets to O Magnum Mysterium. I got this CD at a thrift store and its awesome. Theres a skip right in the middle of a dramatic hallelujah. It’s amazing! But that would be hard to replicate, I’m sure…

Sweet Soul From The Shirelles
The Shirelles – Sweet Soul From The Shirelles

This is one of those records that just makes you happy. It has this lightness that lifts your dark spirits right away, even the sadder songs. Its great for opening your windows wide in the daytime and sharing with your neighbors. It’s like saying, “Hi, I like you and today is going to be a good day.” And the cover- those dresses and those cute smiles, are you kidding me???

Alice Cooper - Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (A Bedtime Story)
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (A Bedtime Story)

We definitely bought this one for the title, although the cover can’t be beat. Can you tell we judge records by their cover? Definitely seems like Dee Snider took some inspiration from this beauty. “Go To Hell” is epically anthemic and you’ve got to give it up to lyrics like “You’d gift wrap a leper and mail him to your Aunt Jane.” “Give the Kid a Break” has a Rocky Horror Vibe, which we love, and how can you go wrong with a song called “I’m the Coolest”?????

Black Girl (Soundtrack)
Black Girl (Soundtrack)

Elsa and I actually hunted down this soundtrack after watching the movie, Black Girl. It’s such sad and beautiful film. We thought it was an art film, so we were surprised to find it categorized among blacksploitation films of the 70’s. But then when we read the liner notes we saw that other people held it in high regard, as well. This soundtrack is rare but so worth owning. Highly recommended!

The Casket Girls’ recent self-titled mini-LP is available now via Graveface Records

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