Review of Vampires With Dreaming Kids/Color Your Life Album by Twin Sister

Hailing from New York, Long Island/Brooklyn, Twin Sister are Andrea, Dev, Gabe, Eric & Bryan. They all met through gigging in the local area with other bands (And boy do there seem to be an awful lot around in Brooklyn) and have subsequently formed a partnership that is the band. This double EP release is their first foray into the physical formatting of their music. It sees the fruition of more than 2 years work and the bringing together of their previous 2 EP releases to date, the first, Vampires With Dreaming Kids, released in 2008. Now available as a double CD, or limited edition 2 disc, gatefold, vinyl (Sadly I only had the CD, but hey if there's any left....) Twin Sister are about to set European ears alight after its September release.

To give you some idea of where this music is, and isn't, I'll try and break it down as best I can. Please bear in mind at this point that on MasterChef the contestants all have the same starting ingredients and although they may all plump to make a chocolate torte/bombe/cake of some description for dessert, in the end, usually, the outcomes are remarkably different. The sound of Twin Sister is parts of Portishead, Pink Floyd and Propaganda. They are Nico singing with The Velvet Underground, they are industrial, melodic, This Mortal Coil and both automotive and acoustic when it suits them. They are tuneful and dark, harmonious and synthetic. They are the audible equivalent to one of Willy Wonka's 3 course meal bubble gums!

Twin Sister Vampires With Dreaming Kids/Color Your Life Album

The 10 tracks are held together by a coherent production that favours the vocal of Andrea Estella (A woman who "Wants to be a demon in a bad horror film...hold a big knife.....kill a someone") held slightly above and out of the mix of the song rather than within it. The Other Side Of Your Face, from Color Your Life, sees her voice used as the Isobel Campbell to the bass heavy undercurrent, supplied by Gabe D'Amico, that works in the same extreme reverse to the deep tones of Mark Lanegan. Behind the clarity of the vocal the band supply hints and echoes of Cocteau guitar swirls. Milk & Honey (Also available on free download, together with SummerCamp and Perfume Genius, on Autompne, through Disco Naiveté) is another fantastic track with more bass notes emanating from somewhere approaching middle Earth, creeping along to a skipping vocal delivered with an almost dual persona. Brief half whispers of Donna Summers I Feel Love are heard on All Around And Away We Go before heading off into the Sci-Fi distance of the ambient instrumental Galaxy Plateau.

The 4 tracks on Vampires With Dreaming Kids peak early on the opening two numbers. Dry Hump....."If you're outta luck, bring over your bones and pay me, anyway you want to" and Ginger, not the ingredient but the hair colour (Sorry color) are both wrapped in gloriously warm and fuzzy guitars with shades of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hanging in the twilight air. Nectarine and I Want A House follow on in a Simon & Garfunkel/Devendra Banhart/Edie Brickell stripped back folk fashion to round off the Twin Sister set.

The quintet of early twenty somethings have a delightfully eclectic mix of styles, tastes, influences and touchstones, all of which belie their meagre years. Snippets and strands of genres and voices are never quite heard everywhere. You may think you know the sound, but then it's gone. The treatment's different, the deliveries alien or the arrangement isn't familiar. It is, in the most part, fantastically intriguing and gratifyingly unconventional.

Andrew Lockwood

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