I bumped into Twin Oaks accidentally while listening to somebody’s playlist on Soundcloud. ‘Nothing’ was the shoegaze-ish track that captivated me, with Lauren Brown’s warm vocals and Aaron Domingo’s brilliant arrangements, it was clear that these guys were worth to follow. Their EP ‘Collapse’ – premiered on Girl Underground Music blog last week – is set to be released on June 2nd, and it is a must-listen.
The opening track ‘Nothing’ escalates from their distinctive dream-folk signature to more rocky guitars, turning the cut into an immersive sound, deep and dark, reaching an epic atmosphere. “Please forgive me for I have sinned / I’m not my own friend” sings Brown, reaching your soul almost effortlessly. The title-track bursts immediately after, with a more upbeat base but carrying the same feeling of melancholy as its predecessor. It is a heavy dream-pop cut, where its intense lyrics compete with a perfectly crafted base.
I can’t help by thinking about Daughter when ‘Windows’ starts. It is inevitable the comparison if you know the gloomy London-based trio, even Brown’s vocals remind me to Elena Torna’s – Daughter’s vocalist. But here Twin Oaks outdo their pals. ‘Windows’ is mesmerizing, probably not for the faint of heart. It is painfully beautiful and its soundscape is haunting. The synth composition and the vocal layering is not less than amazing. One of the best-hidden gems in this extended play.
“And I don’t realize what I‘ve lost
Until I leave it all behind me”
’18 Minutes’ is their most upbeat track off ‘Collapse’. It is, no doubt, the highlight of the EP, where both Brown’s and Domingo’s skills shine the most. The guitar-lead outro is simply enjoyable and almost makes you forget the haunting power of the early part of the song. It also serves as the anteroom for the slow-burn closing track, ‘Lie To Me’. A shift of style that surprisingly works and feels natural. The track is made out of low-key arrangements, relying on Brown’s vocals and a subtle set of guitar chords. It is an evidence, once more, that this American duo can deal with anything with no struggle.
“When you hit rock bottom, there is no place to go but up. So the EP is themed on the idea of moving on and forgiving. It’s based on the concept of burning down the past, letting go of the idealistic future and living the present”, said Brown on the EP for Girl Underground Music Blog. ‘Collapse’ feels melancholic and rich, it is heart-wrenching some moments and empowering others. It is, honestly, a must-listen, a bold and right move for this duo, which just keep on growing and improving. I am sure they still have brilliant material to share in the future, but for the moment, just enjoy this sonic-pleasant EP.
Self-released | 2017
Tracklist & Stream