Do NOT turn up Neoprehistoric. Yes, that's a motor starting -- or stalling -- you can barely hear. Don't listen too closely. They're trying to lure you into an ambush.
And there it is, leaping on you from the musical distance. The complicated, extremely free-verse lyrics will wrap you up in contemplation while the haunting background vocals and addictive tunes lure you into false security. So don't turn it up.
The seemingly unrelated titles are just another wire in the trap, winding your mind in confusion over the distance between title and subject. "Short Circuit," with that seductive starting motor, follows the madness of life's journey, as a woman moves from speed to settling down. "Shades of Blue" seems to be a love story. Far more songs have no clear meaning. What, after all, is "The Rub" about, with its wandering story and lines like "Your mother, stripped of blue for a roll in the hay"? Are the polite interacting rhymes of "Golden Gods Diffused" a reflection on immigration, a lament of past mistakes, a homage to a mother? Even the most compact song makes the mind turn in on itself in a meditative trance.
The thoughtful lyrics are supported by a jazzy, sometimes downright rockworthy. It shows to grand effect on the cover of "Airplane," which here achieves a smoky, club-rock feel. But the unexpected mix of instruments, including guitar drums, bass, djembe, Hammond and sometimes harmonica, provide the perfect nesting hole for Erin Best's strange and comforting lyrics. The combination of instruments and voices softens the sometimes too-sharp vocals and makes every song an uncrackably smooth whole.
Everyone's going to have their favorite comparison for Rasa's sound. They're just familiar enough to make the brain reach for comparisons. But they sound like no one but themselves. And those who listen long enough to get trapped in their musical snares will be glad someone does.