The release of Twin Sister’s debut LP, In Heaven, is the band’s bat mitzvah—now, Twin Sister is a woman. In its first full-length, the band establishes the basic components of what makes Twin Sister’s sound distinctive and easy to listen to: plodding wooziness, synth, Andrea Estella’s almost nasal singing, a touch of ’80s nostalgia and a pervasive indie hipsterishness that sounds like what plimsolls from Urban Outfitters look like—after all, Williamsburg is technically a part of Twin Sister’s home base of Long Island. Twin Sister has a sound, a well-produced, dreamy, indie synth-pop, slightly funky sound, and In Heaven sees the band blend teaspoons of different genres into that mix.
After recording the album last winter in a summer party chateau in the Hamptons, Twin Sister released the first single, “Bad Street,” in the middle of summer and thereby unleashed a humid, funk-influenced, lazy stomper to match the season. Although it’s nice to favor another song over an album’s single, “Bad Street” is undeniably one of In Heaven‘s strongest moments. It kicks the groovy and ethereal pop sensibility the band cultured in previous releases, like “Phenomenons” and “All Around And Away We Go,” into a higher gear, clearing up the shoegaze rush of white noise in the background and showcasing the band’s tight rhythms and uptempo keyboard melodies.
Twin Sister’s darker side—the fuzzy, vaguely Cure-ish side that produced tracks like “Milk And Honey” on the Color Your Life EP and the title of the band’s first EP, Vampires With Dreaming Kids—is not lost on In Heaven. “Stop” and “Space Babe” both echo with twangy guitars reminiscent of 1980s synth rock, and “Kimmi In A Rice Field” spreads a lurching, downtempo shoegaze blur over Twin Sister’s aural canvas. It is on tracks like “Kimmi In A Rice Field” where the quirks of Estella’s voice really stand out; part whisper and part nasal croon, at times Estella sounds like a less gratingly baby-voiced Joanna Newsom. She tends to pronounce words just a little bit oddly, like the words “Saturday Sunday” in the song of the same name and virtually every lyric of “Space Babe.”