During the Italian Renaissance, tarantism was a phenomenon of psychological hysteria attributed to the bite of a tarantula spider. Those bitten would experience a short period of extreme apathy, followed by a prolonged bout of unrestrained dancing ecstasy, which would temporarily remit the illness. A tarantist is any person given to this compulsive dancing in the presence of live music.
Many debate who “The Tarantist” actually is, but to me it’s obvious: it’s you, the listener, while Dani and company– the skittering, scary-yet-beautiful tarantula– inject their poisonous pop into your bloodstream, causing the plague of dance.
On Wide Eyed, the outfit’s sophomore offering, Dani winds her way through smoky soul beats and vintage grooves. Pulling out some of my favorites from the record: “The End” (above) is a sitar-smoked soiree through a psych-pop swamp; “Mystery” (video below) has a bluesy backdrop that Dani rides crisp and clean; and “Driving Me Crazy” (above) is the addicting and vocally playful pop hit with a ton of replay value.