Twin Sister made a powerful impression with last year’s ‘Color Your Life’ EP, six slices of languid pop including one of my very favorite songs from 2010, the disco-tinged ‘All Around and Away We Go’. With a new album due in September, a new record label, and plenty of tour dates ahead, they seem poised to renew their “buzz band” membership cards for 2011.
I had the good fortune to check them out live at a tiny club in Atlanta called the 529 and I wasn’t disappointed. They sounded pristine in such an intimate environment, treating the audience to favorites from the EP like ‘Phenomenons’ and ‘Lady Daydream’ in addition to some new jams, most notably ‘Bad Street’. Anchoring the group’s live presence was the enchanting Andrea Estella, whose hazy vocals provides a counterpoint to the airtight rhythm section of Bryan Ujueta and Gabel D’Amico. Dev Gupta and guitarist Eric Cardona stayed busy on opposite sides of the stage, adding the colors and textures to the sonic palette on an unforgettable night of music.
A few days later I emailed the band some questions, and keyboardist Dev Gupta graciously shared some insight on the record deal with Domino Records, the creative process, and what’s next for Twin Sister. Here’s the conversation:
Joseph Avary – Is there pressure to put out a great record, especially after the Color Your Life EP was so well-received?
Dev Gupta – Well we’re done making it, so any pressure that was there is gone because in our heads we’ve moved on to the next thing. I don’t think the reception is something we worry about too much. The reviews we got on Color Your Life were flattering, and very unexpected, so we don’t presume that will happen every time around. We’re focused on making something all five of us love, and we learned a lot of things to do better for the next set of songs we end up recording.
JA – Which song most embodies what Twin Sister is all about?
DG – There’s never a permanent answer for that, but for now I think our newest single ‘Bad Street’ is a pretty good indicator of where our heads are these days. Writing and recording it felt like a very collaborative process, and everybody got to do what they like doing best.
JA – How does the songwriting process work?
DG – One of us shows somebody else an idea. If people are excited about it, we naturally end up fooling around with it a lot, but really the make or break phase is if Andrea likes singing something to what the rest of us are doing. If she doesn’t settle on anything, the song gets lost in demo land.
JA – What kind of day jobs do you guys do when not touring or recording?
DG – For almost a year none of us had day jobs, which was pretty amazing. We toured a lot, and then had the luxury of taking 4 months to make the record while not doing anything else. Recently though, we’ve been taking shifts here and there when we can get them. I work as a freelance web developer, Bryan waits tables, Andrea, Eric, and Gabe have been doing whatever odd jobs they can find.
JA – You guys have a new record deal with Domino, how’s that going so far?
DG – It’s strange in a lot of ways. The number of people who interact with the “business” side of the band has gone up a lot. But they’re all very smart, capable, and knowledgeable people who elected to do what’s sometimes a very unprofitable job for their passions. So far, we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with.
Twin Sister’s next record will be called ‘In Heaven’ and it comes out September 27 on Domino Records.
Twin Sister – Bad Street