Twin River Reach Blissful, Garage-Pop Driven Highs on Sophomore Release ‘Passing Shade’
The Vancouver, Canada based outfit Twin River has been spearheading the ‘garage pop’ moniker for a while now, taking it on with jangly, dreamy, conviction that’s hard to go unnoticed. Though their debut EP Rough Gold released in 2012 featured only guitarists/vocalists Courtney Bromley and Evan Bishop, Twin River’s sound gradually got bigger, meaner, and more booming as time went on. Eventually going on to include five members, the band’s 2015 full-length debut Should The Light Go Out saw the inclusion of bright, gritty, garage-driven rhythms and hook-oriented melodies that offered a slick example of ‘garage pop’ by the end. In follow-up to this debut, the band has hit back with Passing Shade: a shimmering, catchy, and polished-in-all-the-right-places sophomore record that shows Twin River reaching new highs.
With a fleet of dreamy, psychedelic sounds that maintain contained, poppy charm while also holding a gritty, garage-temperament that keeps the songs sounding spontaneous and authentic, Passing Shade is infectious enough to keep your head bobbing and engaging enough to work it’s way into your bloodstream. The lead single “Antony” plays with restrained ambience, dreamy guitar tones, and heartening substance in a way that makes the song seem like it’s constantly on the verge of fading out. It doesn’t, however, and it’s catchy and invigorating guitar leads combined with the sleek charm of the synth section carry it in a way where it feels airy, weightless, and driving all at the same time.
Passing Shade offers a slick balance between propulsive and elated temperaments. However, both styles of delivery reach unique, dreamy, and psychedelic highs. “Settle Down” harnesses the first of these, relying on a fiery, heavy guitar lead that contrasts with Bromley’s light, luminous vocals in an easeful, charming fashion. “Brooklyn Bowl” does this similarly, kicking back with infectious, street-smart class that’s hard to resist. Concerning the latter of these temperaments, songs like the closer “North” express them best. With restrained leads that disperse sparingly throughout the song, rhythms that sit back and look at the sky rather than driving the song forward, and cloudy, euphoric production on Bromley’s vocals that shines through particularly well on this track, “North” is infectious not in a poppy, hook-oriented sense, but in enveloping bliss that Twin River harness with ease and a degree of captivation.
As a whole, Passing Shade is one of the most intriguing and enjoyable albums I’ve come across this year. Not only is it perfect for fans of pop-oriented sounds that try to diverge from typical sounds, structures, and tones, but Twin River is a love affair waiting to happen for fans of garage-rock looking to take it down a notch.
Listen to: “Hesperus”, “Antony”, “Settle Down”, and “North”
Passing Shade is out now via Light Organ Records.