Monday, May 30, 2011

The Good Things EP by Summer Twins - American Pancake Review

A simple kick drum with a solid bass wrapped around it. This is how the The Good Things starts out on the Summer Twins EP by the same name. Five measures in - a hooky guitar adds flavor, thirteen measures further - pretty female vocal ooohs, 21 measures - wonderful trancy lead guitar lines. The slow build up strained my unfortunately short attention span. It is not until 29 measures go by or 1 minute and 8 seconds that the song kicks in fully with vocals and all those aforementioned elements filling the voids. And fill the voids they do. The sound is lush and dreamy and from an alternative pop sense, intricate and textured. Not only is the long intro unexpected, when the song seems to shift into a bridge, it isn't one but rather a stark change that plays itself out. I like that and despite my A.D.D, I appreciate that the Summer Twins put aside regular pop conventions and let this song build at it's own pace. Already the Summer Twins, sisters Chelsea (guitar, vocals) and Justine Brown (drums, vocals), Ivan Aguirre (guitar) and Danny Delgado (bass) are offering up some tasty surprises.

Track 2 - Good Friends screams out a little 1960's Brit Pop melted on top of the Shangrilas then erupts into psychedelic tropical pop.

Track 3- Shake versus Snow offers thick vocal harmonies and sparkly guitar picked rhythms that sound at once familiar but bright and loud like that favorite 90's Cosby sweater in the back of your closet. I swear that Chelsea Brown's vocals sounded a bit like Anabelle Lwin's (best known for 80's / 90's African infused post punk band Bow Wow Wow).

Track 4- The More I Think of You has a full rhythm guitar that drives along this Cardigan-esque song but discards the vocal harmonies present in the rest of the EP for a primarily single vocal. The sweet dream pop (again anchored in the 1960's Brit pop feel) that evokes skipping down clean sidewalks amidst nicely kept lawns belie the lyrics that talk about innocence lost and broken hearts.

Track 5- Behind the Scenes with it's airy guitars and melancholy feel once again is pure dreamy pop and tugs at those places constructed out of faded diaries and childhood summers.

Track 6- Crying in my Sleep (to me, the finest track on the EP) starts off with a plucked reverbed chords that are subdued in the mix. The progression has a touch of swamp blues in there (that could be mistaken for Jack White's porch performances) and soon gets embraced by lively drum highlights, bright guitar counterpoints and a tight bass line along with those Summer Twins vocal harmonies. Every element fits like musical gears intertwined and move this pop lullaby lovingly along as Chelsea and Justine sing about a dream life or a life of dreams, I'm not sure which.

The Good Things EP is my introduction to Summer Twins and started off a bit slow and tentative, like some of the songs weren't fully flushed out. NOT that this is a bad thing. I actually liked all the songs but the last three songs seem to me to be a bit more realized and the last song, Crying in my Sleep with it's bluesy foundation and layers of sound could be Summer Twins' signature song (their classic). Recorded and produced by Andrew Christmas (except for "The Good Things" recorded and produced by Lucas Drake) the songs sound quite good although I do think that a couple of the mixes are spotty. In particular, on Good Friends, the drums are mixed so far back that some of Justine's fills get lost and the song, over all, could benefit from more bottom. Also, as beautiful as the vocals are- on some songs it is very difficult to make out the lyrics (which is more typical than not these days). In fact, I was scurrying about on line looking for the Summer Twins lyrics but didn't have much luck.

Final thoughts: Summer Twins create dreamy pop sounds that leave you wanting more. Do yourself a favor and download their EP here: Summer Twins - The Good Things
and if you like it- BUY IT-
 Also, search Summer Twins out and catch one of their shows. I know I will.

-Adler Bloom

The Summer Twins - The Good Things (EP)
All songs written by Summer Twins
Chelsea Brown (guitar, vocals)
Justine Brown (guitar, vocals)
Ivan Aquirre (Guitar)
Danny Delgado (bass)
Recorded and produced by Andrew Christmas
Except "The Good Things" recorded and produced by Lucas Drake

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