Smoke and Mirrors 

Twin Sister Are Full of Surprises

TWIN SISTER The best release from twin sisters since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's classic album, Brother For Sale, 50 Cents.

TWIN SISTER The best release from twin sisters since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's classic album, Brother For Sale, 50 Cents.

TWIN SISTER is a band of ideas, which means they can take you by surprise. They take themselves by surprise at times, too.

"In our minds, we're so often ahead of what we're doing at the moment," explains bassist Gabe D'Amico. That comes through on their Color Your Life EP, which was recorded piecemeal over a period of months as the band members found time. At first it sounds disconnected, as if the instruments are talking to each other over a bad phone connection. As leadoff track "The Other Side of Your Face" progresses, though, the disparate streams of its slow ambiances slither together into a unified sound, and lead singer Andrea Estella murmurs, in her slurred smoky voice, "I could try to change the way I think/If it makes you happy, then I will." The melodic section of the track eventually dissolves again into an instrumental float buoyed by echoing guitars and tom taps.

Twin Sister is adept at embedding these treats inside a quietly pleasing tissue paper wrapping of noise, and it's not surprising that D'Amico describes their music as "experimental pop." Their sound recalls everything from art-pop like Björk, muted disco like Saint Etienne, and slowcore like Galaxie 500, plus folk and minimalist compositions as well. "Milk and Honey" begins with a Brechtian drone before riding a waltz-time beat through an instrumental break into a simple, repeated chorus, and it's immensely effective.

You'll want to catch Twin Sister now, on their first West Coast tour, because the Long Island band is only going to get better. Recently tipped by Pitchfork as an up and comer, the scattered members have finally been able to quit their day jobs (singers Estella and Eric Cardona worked for Edible Arrangements, "selling fruit baskets," says D'Amico) and spend as much time as they can playing music together. It's allowing them, D'Amico says, to "explore a lot more of the music we've always talked about." In their two years so far, Twin Sister has produced two great EPs under difficult conditions. You'll want to see what they can do next.

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