I first got a whiff of Listening Woman last fall, when Boston Hassle founder Dan Shea declared they were one of his favorite new groups in Boston. I knew this was a recommendation to be taken seriously– weird, underground Boston music is Dan’s lifeblood– yet somehow I didn’t look them up until today, when I stumbled upon “Room Divider”.
Listening Woman merge the spectacle of art-house weird-fi with the sort of epic-ness that comes naturally from being such a large, ensemble group. (If Tredici Bacci is a skeevy, silly Italian uncle, then Listening Woman is his out-to-lunch but lovable American sister.) There’s no predicting where a song will or won’t go next or what instruments you might find along the way. “Room Divider”, featuring tiny hand-shaped finger puppets, salt water taffy, and a porcelain clown whose nose is in high demand, is a great introduction to this band. Just like Listening Woman takes sounds we’ve heard before and turns them into something new, “Room Divider” gathers what we’d think of as random crap sitting in an apartment and turns it into a three-minute long work of art.