The warm glockenspiels that open the first song, “Daniel”, frame Twin Sister‘s thesis, which is all about swirling, layering of sounds and the lovely vocals of Andrea Estella and Eric Cardona (who sounds like Dan Bejar’s younger brother). The Brooklyn-based band has been compared to The Cocteau Twins and Portishead at different turns, which is understandable in terms of the complex composition and richly pieced together atmospheres; but on In Heaven, their full-length debut (after EP’s Vampires With Dreaming Kids and Colour Your Life), it is a wonderful mixture of Deerhoof and New Order that comes to the fore.
“Stop” surprises because it has a funky bass line that brings to mind Nile Rodgers carousing with an eighties synth pop band, segueing seamlessly into the more uptempo “Bad Street” which wears its disco sensibilities on its shiny sleeves. “Space Babe” and “Kimmi in a Rice Field” contain a kind of Asian influence with glassy beats and echoes that swirl around Estella’s dreamy vocal like musical fireflies.
“Luna’s Theme” is the kind of song that will break your heart in pieces, with a quavering synth keeping time, and Estella’s vocals sounding desperately sad, confused, and authentic, like a lullaby for a lost soul. There are Morricone elements on “Spain”, and you can almost sense yourself in Carlo Simi’s set, that dust-ridden design of El Paso. The oriental and western coalesce on “Gene Ciampi” which is a pretty, frothy song, a loveletter of sorts to “the legend, the man, the hero”, and on “Saturday Sunday” they sound like a jauntier version of Camera Obscura. Album closer “Eastern Green” brings us back to a more melancholic temperature, with Cardona’s measured voice providing a kind of elegant poise.
For such a young band, Twin Sister has crafted a work of real emotional depth, and molded lots of interesting musical bric-a-brac into a record that will stay long in the memory and longer in the heart.
Essential Tracks: “Kimmi in a Rice Field”, “Luna’s Theme”, “Gene Ciampi”, “Eastern Green”