Katie Dee and her gothic Americana outfit, the Quaking Aspens, release quirky, homespun murder ballads, the latest collection of which, From the Sea, features watery graves and aquatic creatures.
After I saw Robert Eggers’s depraved black & white psych-horror film The Lighthouse (starring Edward Cullen and the Green Goblin) in December, I went to a dive bar with my two fellow moviegoers. We sat in a shadowy corner, staring into space, each of us trying to rationalize the nightmarish images to which we had been subjected, picking at a pile of nachos like they were Bob Pattinson’s face and our fingers were seagulls (slight spoiler, sorry). My experience with Grist House’s Lunatic Lighthouse, a nice amber lager, was much more palatable. Katie Dee & the Quaking Aspens’s song of the same name splits the difference between the movie and the beer, invoking gruesome imagery and high-seas skullduggery in the service of rollicking romance. The narrator and her companion kill a lighthouse keeper, steal his sweater, wrap his body in a sail, and dump him in the ocean, but the ghastly act allows them to “kiss among the stars” and get married at what is now their lighthouse. It’s heartwarming! Ragged acoustic guitar and organ provide backing for Katie and Julien Dee’s voices. A whimsical and malty take on the classic murder ballad genre, “Lunatic Lighthouse” will leave you grinning like a skeleton.