Album Review: Twin Sister - In Heaven

In Heaven is well worth the wait and what’s most intriguing about them is how frighteningly vulnerable and isolated they sound.

B+ | 9.27.11 | Domino | Stream | MP3 | Vinyl | CD

The Hamptons. A buzz band. A three month winter lease. What do you expect to reap from this unlikely trinity? Certainly not the simple unassuming pop opus presented before us. This is a band who realized that imposing regimen on their recording process was necessary to reach that next plateau of eminence. Last year’s Color Your Life EP was a confederate of musicians feeling around for their distinct sound; grabbing it for brief moments before it slipped away. Now they have clearly (but gently) grabbed that essence by the tail and let it take them to yesteryear and back without ever losing their delicate sensibilities.  

Lead songstress Andrea Estella (probably pronounced Es-tey-ya) is possessed by a different starlet’s voice on each track. On opening track “Daniel” she exudes the mousy grace of Company of Thieves chanteuse Genevieve Schatz. And though she is a force to be reckoned with, her company of players conducts this ambient arpeggio with such deft touch that they are literally an extension of her ethereal radiance. The bass and drum interplay on “Stop” is so punchy and digital that it sounds like a highly polished version of Yuzo Koshiro’s Streets of Rage soundtrack being performed by a way better version of Berlin.

“Bad Street” is all about feeling — feeling funky fresh that is. She channels her inner Estelle and basically let’s her boys go off on whatever Planet Funk-o-tron (sorry for all the Sega Genesis allusions) tangents they want. It has the same structure as Gorillaz “DARE”, vocal loops and jangly soul en tow, but it flows infinitely better — which I didn’t think was possible.

Estella is a self professed anime junkie and “Kimmi in a Rice Field” would belong on any tragic episode of Ghost in the Shell or Cowboy Bebop. Apparently she picked the right vocal coach to help her hit the astronomical high notes on “Lunas Theme” which is given that extra haze malaise by keys player Dev Gupta. Having the coda of “Lunas Theme” abruptly merge into a sultry ballad like “Spain” is just the kick in the ass you need after somber tranquility.

If Marlene Dietrich covered a Bollywood version of the Yardbirds “Heart Full of Soul” then it might begin to approach the strange and delightful warped guitar and cowbell dancing on “Gene Ciampi”. “Saturday Sunday” may be a bit repetitive and shallow, but at least the title gives you fair warning. Make sure you listen to the last few bars of gloomy closer “Eastern Green”, it will tear your heart to shreds while she stammers “Someone looking right through me”.

In Heaven is well worth the wait and what’s most intriguing about them is how frighteningly vulnerable and isolated they sound. It’s as if they tape together life’s little secrets hidden in their songs — you can either try and parse through their inscriptions or let them gather more beautiful dust.

Twin Sister - In Heaven (Full Album)