Twin Sister’s first full-length album sounds like a carefully selected compilation of Europe’s newest chill, indie pop, and electronica – not various facets of one particular Long Island band. Though Twin Sister has two EPs under their belt, this album clearly defines more of the band’s strengths, and while the album’s apparent title track isn’t present (you can find it on the Bad Street 10” single), there’s really nothing missing from this tightly-knit collection, which is currently at the top of many indie charts.
Singer Andrea Estella’s vocals tend to be flavored by the style of song, making her sound dramatically different form track to track. On Daniel, Estella sounds like many other great female vocalists out there, mimicking the classic sing-song style made famous by groups like Feist. While pleasant, the song doesn’t give any clues to what else the listener will find here; Stop, the second track on the album, may not be the radio darling Eastern Green (rightfully) is, but it’s still a great duet between Estella and guitarist Eric Cardona, with plenty of pop and reticence, with great lines like “Someday it’s all over, will I remember the scenery?”
The album spends the rest of the time switching back and forth from irreverent party tracks to soaring emotional passages. Kimmi in a Rice Field, the most accomplished track on In Heaven, enlists layers upon layers of sound which are tempered with Estella’s simple, airy vocals, as she hits notes so high they’re usually left to choir boys. Later, Gene Ciampi’s guitar, organ and – oh yes – woodblock sends the album across the dance hall for a Blondiesque interlude, replete with seventies-style vocal effects, both essential and amusing; think gems gone by like Heart of Glass.
Possibly the only awkward song on the album is Saturday Sunday, where Estella’s accent, real or imagined, seems to be over accentuated, and the song seems to go nowhere. Perhaps its placement between two strong songs was no accident, as it does not seem to meet the standards of the rest of the album. This same phenomenon can be found on both of the bands’ EPs as well. However, this can be considered a successful debut into LP territory for a band that has been working since 2008 to get it right. The question is, can they can keep this same formula going strong and make it to the top of the charts once again?
Written by Nicole Banister