Hailing from Long Island, Twin Sister (before they acquired their gender-twisting title ‘Mr’) were a band deeply rooted in an era. The quintet’s debut gleefully surfed on the infamous chill wave of 2011 which swept up records like Washed Out’s ‘Within and Without’ and Toro y Moi’s ‘Freaking Out’ EP. They were idyllic times but much like all organic forms, genres can decompose and evolution is essential. Three years on, the newly christened Mr. Twin Sister have adopted a new nocturnal approach to music: trading sun-kissed tones for a taste of the night.
‘Sensitive’ eases the listener in to the record and it is evident from the word go that the band’s sonic palette has broadened. Carefully composed synth lines have been meticulously tinkered with in the production line to give this new record a deeply textured aesthetic. By the second track, Mr Twin Sister have set the disco ball in motion as ‘Rude Boy’ kicks in. Accompanied by synth wails not too dissimilar to what can be heard in Kool & The Gang’s ‘Summer Madness’, Andrea Estella vocalises her fight for the attention of a dance floor companion in what should no doubt be the album’s next single.
Whilst tracks like ‘Rude Boy’ and the dance-inducing anthem of optimism ‘In the House of Yes’ are injected with the sort of energy harnessed at the beginning of the night, Mr Twin Sister also expose their affectionate side with their interpretation of late night romance. Take the sensitive number ‘Blush’: an ambient amalgamation of filtered guitars and strings which collaborate to cushion Estella’s dulcet tones. This is where the beauty in the record resides and it acts a stark contrast to the sinister ’12 Angels’. On the latter, Estella’s vocals align with a robotic lower pitched voice as she states: ’I told myself no more confusion’. Ironically, this lacklustre attempt to emulate minimal techno indicates that lots of confusion remains as it fails to sit comfortably in the album’s mould. If the bulk of the album captures the essence of the night, ’Crime Scene’ embodies the morning afterglow. Whirring organs and acoustic tones soundtrack this trickling of light through the curtains and like all good albums should, this concluding track acts as the perfect bookend to the album’s journey.
Flickering between delicate and intricate, the many facets of Mr Twin Sister appear strong on this record and whilst versatility should be applauded, the album occasionally lacks a sense of cohesion. Nevertheless, Mr Twin Sister have discovered a new sense of purpose amongst their new identity and despite the minor faults, this dreamy record will have you dimming the lights and pining for more.
Words: George Hemmati