This Summer Twins article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson
‘Limbo’ sees California’s Summer Twins add more and more layers to their sound whilst standing by a few of the moods and themes of their previous, self-titled album.
Despite a few differences in how their music is now being produced, Summer Twins are still making music that relates to their name; it’s very summery, at times flowery and includes consistent throwbacks to typical sounds of the ‘60s, with pumping organs and the like. Whenever they create these throwback sounds, they still manage to couple them with a few modern twists and a bit of polished production. The production is quite sharp with a lot less emphasis on the dreaminess that their last record had. Everything is focussed, and the album’s opener ‘Blinds’ immediately gives the listener a taste of it; starting with a compact, near-raw guitar/vocal mix with just a hint of echo. Soon enough the drums kick in and a string section follows; a very beautiful one at that. ‘Demons’ keeps up the same kind of vibe, but with more instruments filling the track, including a bouncy bass and the aforementioned organ. An organ also hauntingly fills the track ‘Ouija’, as does an eventual, electrifying guitar solo.
Things continue down a similar path with the soulful ‘Our World’, and ‘JuJu’ – which glistens with organs and crunchy guitars. The production and instrumental aspects are quite enjoyable, but the attempts at grabbing that ‘60s flare are only really interesting for about half the album, Summer Twins don’t do a bad job at capturing the sound, but it doesn’t always pay off, and the songs that don’t have much of an emphasis on that style seem to fall flat compositionally. ‘Stop & Go’ sounds fine, but with its hard hitting tempo alongside the super conventional chord progressions, it seems like a song that should be sticking in the listener’s head, but it never quite gets going. And ‘Helpless’ has some floaty charm to it, but it’s just Dream Pop for the sake of Dream Pop. Ignoring the echo and reverb the song isn’t particularly interesting. ‘Fire’ goes back to an old school thematic, with its Bo Diddley beat-inspired rhythm, but that’s all there it to it really. The album ends with ‘So Funny’, which sees Summer Twins cornily go for a Latin sound.
‘Limbo’ definitely has its key tracks, and those key tracks are really fun and attention-grabbing. It also wouldn’t be fair to talk about the sound of the band without mentioning the vocal delivery and harmonies of sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown. For the most part, they’re really otherworldly and angelic and the two deserve a lot of credit for simply creating such a pretty sound with their voices.
The general sound of ‘Limbo’ is definitely easy to listen to and there is nothing terribly wrong with the album – but the stylistic approach of Summer Twins isn’t as consistently unique or fitting as it could be. Nevertheless, check out ‘Demons’, it’s a very catchy, very fun song!