A couple of years ago a bunch of Rhode Islanders relocated to Brooklyn, New York. As Twin Sister they released Vampires With Dreaming Kids, a four song collection of expansive shoegaze with foggy rhythms and an icy disposition. This was followed by Colour Your Life, featuring vaseline-lensed space-disco. Last year the band re-released both as a double EP. Single tracks were subsequently released in the build up to their first LP, hitting off airy indie-pop, funky cuts and pastoral instrumentals – namely ‘In Heaven’ which would title their debut album but didn’t make the tracklist. Heavily anticipated, nobody could have predicted where In Heaven would go. As it turns out, it is elegantly eclectic indie-pop supreme.
Arriving to Dublin’s Grand Social with this eclectic reputation, it could be cliché to describe Twin Sister as five individuals from very different strands of music playing as a unit. Yawnsome right? But sure let’s go cliché on this one. Without going into who is from what genre (yes, “genre”, there I said it), Twin Sister play cavernous carnival music (‘Lady Daydream’) alongside oriental balladry (‘Kimmi In A Rice Field’) and shimmering dream pop (‘Daniel’) follows ’70s retroness (‘Stop’) – where Eric Cardona’s upside-down guitar rattles in resonating bass notes.
Andrea Estella’s voice adapts to every shift: breathy and dewy for ‘Milk & Honey’, cooing and ringing on ‘Space Babe’, and suggestively sexy on ‘Bad Street’. Her fashion is that of an ‘80s employment agent (thinking Pauline from Rosyton Vasey here), but her self-consciousness is utterly endearing. To say that she’s sing effortlessly would be an injustice (and another cliché). Every note is sung with purpose and intent, and not a single one is missed – from the low-pitch of the dramatic ‘Spain’ to the playfulness on the clip-cloppedy comedy ‘Gene Ciampi’ – a song about a failing Asian cowboy actor.
Throughout the set there’s bubbling electronica flourishes, jerky guitars, a driving wall of straight up indie drone, many-way vocal harmonies, care-free psychedelia and even a folk interlude. Twin Sister play with a variety that is magnetic and a tightness that is singular. To see them live is to witness an exaggerated presentation of one of the most marvellous records of the year.
Photos: Damien McGlynn.