Twinstar - The Sound of Leaving
Record Label: Commercial Suicide
Release Date: March 26, 2013
The natural ebb and flow of life is brought to life vividly on the compelling new album The Sound of Leaving from Los Angeles' Twinstar. A marching, confident and triumphant record that has a definite Brit-rock vibe, the LP opens with "The Man They Came For," a midtempo effort that sways and swerves with a presence that is both eye-opening and inviting.
More often than not, album openers can often be the standout song but thankfully for the listener, The Sound of Leaving has far more than just one knockout effort. The lush "Lost Ends" has a saturnine and cinematic impact that points to one simple fact: Twinstar know how to craft memorable mid-tempo meditations on life and the human condition. If more music could be as gentle and gorgeous as "Lost Ends," then the state of popular music might not be as misguided and misdirected at is it is.
On the slow-building "Can You Walk Away With Nothing"," the quartet put their best foot forward and tackle the complexities of romance in a way that is as memorable as anything released so far this year. The first half of The Sound of Leaving closes out with "Nowhere," a hazy and unshakeable effort that trembles and shivers with uncertainty and authenticity; and "A Shadow Path," a delicate and gossamery respite replete with strings, intimacy and a sense of control that is sorely missing on most contemporary indie-rock LPs.
The second half begins much like the first with the lush and layered "Amazon Eyes," a song that is practically begging for wider audiences and "Young Junk," a staggering and searing tour-de-force that finds the band firing on all cylinders and packing in all of the hallmarks that make them so worth remembering: crisp vocals, ringing guitars, an air-tight rhythm section and a sense of pacing and melody that is both original and refreshing.
Airy effort "Memory Dust" has a tranquil and desperate nature that is both romantic and ruminative, while "The Traveler's Dream" is a sweeping string-laden ballad that demands larger stages, larger audiences and a celebratory prize of some sort. Quite simply, if "The Traveler's Dream" does not move you, then indeed The Sound of Leaving is not the record for you. And perhaps if you have come this far and have yet to be convinced, give yourself ten minutes and let the enveloping, titanic and leave-it-all-the-table "Sold" win you over. An epic nine minute conclusion the song swims through a sea of shimmering guitars, first-rate vocals and enough tension and torment to make any sad sack loser want to believe in life, music and art, if only for just those ten minutes.
If there is only one takeaway from The Sound of Leaving it is simply this: Twinstar know how to craft a gorgeous, long-lasting and triumphant record. While there may be records more impacting, breathtaking and elegiac released so far this year, this writer has yet to hear them. The Sound of Leaving is a home run from start to finish. Struggling songwriters who want to expand their craft, should look no further than these 10 songs. If you want to know how to do it better, give yourself an hour and sit down with The Sound of Leaving. It just might change your life.