First Listen

First Listen: The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger

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The GOASTT i i

Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl record and perform together as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
The GOASTT

Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl record and perform together as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

courtesy of the artist

Sean Lennon and his musical partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl, who perform together as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, must deal with dubious listeners all the time.  On the surface, he's the child of unimaginably famous parents, while she was a teen model and actress before turning to music. But their debut album, Acoustic Sessions, makes it immediately clear that the two are genuine talents.  As The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Lennon and Kemp Muhl have produced a finely calibrated mix of blissful psych-pop, with sweet two-part harmonies and wistful, wandering melodies inspired by '60s French pop.

Lennon and Kemp Muhl, who are also dating, say they started The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger a couple years ago on a whim.  The band's name was the title of a play Kemp Muhl wrote as a child, but the project soon evolved into a serious songwriting venture for both performers. Lennon, who's released several well-received albums as a solo artist — and with the band Cibo Matto — takes on lead vocals.  Kemp Muhl is a multi-instrumentalist (bass, guitar, accordion, piano, melodica) and imaginative lyricist, with an enchanting voice in her own right.

Listening to Acoustic Sessions is like stepping into a magical world where a smiling sun shines on fields of dancing flowers while winged creatures flit about in the fragrant air.  But thunderclouds are always looming on the horizon, and who knows what they'll bring?  As the album's title suggests, the songs are mostly acoustic and spare, though The GOASTT released an electric version of "Luxembourg Gardens" this past summer.  The duo is already working on a batch of new electric songs, due out early next year.

It can't be easy living in the shadow of parents like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, especially when you're trying to make your own name as an artist.  But Sean Lennon continues to impress.  For The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, he's found his own voice — and the perfect songwriting partner — to produce his best work yet.

Acoustic Sessions will stream here until its release on Oct. 26.  Please leave your thoughts on the album in the comments section below.

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First Listen