Review – The Self-Titled Mr. Twin Sister Album

With their latest album dropped this September, ‘Mr. Twin Sister’ have revealed an evolution from previous more meandering guitar-led records, to a solid collective of whirling, layered synth-dance, faintly reminiscent of German new-age music project Enigma. Thankfully, the techno-pop structural keystone of their music has not been lost, but instead advantageously amplified, creating far more memorable records.  So it seems that the addition of ‘Mr.’ to their name may herald the coagulation of a more lucid identity for the band.

The whole LP smacks of a murky nighttime atmosphere. The lyrics seek to explore the possibilities of the arguably freer hours of human existence. We begin with the sparkling twilight of a track ‘Sensitive’, its gradual and inviting nature gently revealing itself like stars appearing in the night sky.

Each song fades in and out of presence, seductively unfurling its message through Estella’s restrained, but occasionally indiscernible vocals; “I’m a woman, but inside I’m a man and I want to be as gay as I can”, she purrs during the album’s turning point on ‘Out of the Dark’, the ambience becoming darker, as the conceptual nightly hour grows later.  “Twelve Angels” sounds like a lost track from Danny Boyle’s filmic adaption of Trainspotting, the eerie, muted talk-singing punctuating the track’s superb sense of subtle determination and intensity.

It’s as though we’ve stumbled across a particularly fruitful jam session undertaken by the band, with songs easily transcending the usual pop-song boundary of three and a half minutes. I’m especially enamoured with ‘Rude Boy’ , an ode to the internal conversation most of us have had when ensnared in the company of an arrogant, deluded individual that we have absolutely no interest in. “Are you even aware of what a bore you are?/…You can give someone else your number.” Oh if only we had the courage to simply speak our minds.

The penultimate track “Medford” is sadly fleeting, but soothing, like audible moonlight, the soft strings and wandering clarinet suggesting a strange and sudden sense of peace. And this indicates sedation and delusion, as though we’ve been temporarily anaesthetised of the intimidating aspects of the night, in order to bask solely in its tranquility.

“Blush” and “Crime Scene”, are full of longing for and pleading with an unidentified lover. The melancholy has a desperate, but endearingly drunken or drugged edge, which adds a relatable tone for any intoxicated loner who has felt suddenly impassioned by the need to win back ‘the one that got away’. We all yearn for somebody unattainable at some point in our lives…

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Mr. Twin Sister deserves your attention. The rewards are an album that’s uncommonly easy to replay over and over, which is an especially commendable feat as the album is closer to 30 minutes than an hour. The tracks are unique and memorable enough to stand alone, but work best as a collective journey, that successfully creates a rich, reflective atmosphere. Many questions are asked, but their effortless resonance with the listener takes priority over caring for any sort of answer.

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