Twin Sister 2/3 The Echo Los Angeles Review

By Ace Ubas

Long Island’s Twin Sister had a quite a big year last year. They released their debut album entitled In Heaven to positive reviews, carrying on the momentum that their previous EP’s produced. It’s easy to say that for the past couple of years, they have been on the rise. But if their popularity across the internet and the numerous sold out shows they play are any indication, they are at the top of their peak and have no plans at looking down. And though they spent most of last year as the support band on tours with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Wild Nothing, Beirut, and Explosions in the Sky, 2012 is looking to be their chance as the headlining band. They are in the midst of their nationwide tour that included a stop at Los Angeles’ own The Echo, which notched another sell-out show for them.

At around 11:30, Twin Sister made their way onto the stage. Lead vocalist Andrea Estella showed that she is also a fashionista by keeping her hair tied-up and wearing a bow so large that it would make Alice in Wonderland grin. They jumped into opener “Meet the Frownies” from their split with The Luyas and immediately went into album single and disco number “Bad Street.” The thick bass lines from Gabe D’Amico emphasized the 80s funk feel of the tune that got the crowd to dance.

What’s appealing and infectious about the quintet is that a bit of their personality shines through when they’re up on stage, charming the crowd with every note sung or played. Estella’s elegant swaying while singing and playful demeanor was hypnotizing and seductive. Guitarist/vocalist Eric Cardona’s style provided a nice contrast by being a bit more energetic and emphatic.

They slowed the tempo down with older number “Lady Daydream” from their Color Your Life EP. In a live setting, the song nearly lives up to its name with the great hazy textures that Dev Gupta created on his keys. Speaking of Gupta, when I spoke to him last year, he mentioned how they looked to a more ‘worldly’ influence for their album. That influence definitely showed on “Spain” where it felt like a mix between a Western tune and Latin pop. Cardona’s sharp guitar playing created the melody that reinforced those ideas.

Crowd-favorite “All Around and Away We Go” showcased the tight-knit dynamic of the band where Estella’s whisper-like singing served as a great foil to D’Amico’s groovy bass. “Daniel” was a bit different with a prolonged intro and added verses at the end of the song as Estella, in a sultry manner, sang “forget the world/love is true/forget the others/I am yours/love is cold/love is warm/face the fear/shut the door.”

Cardona showed off his ability to take the role of lead vocalist on heavily-layered “Stop,” while the rest of the instrumentation sounded jazzier with the tighter arrangements. In fact, a lot of their songs sounded as if they added a stronger jazz element to it. The new song The Power of Two was laid back in tone, but the chord progressions coming from the keyboard and drummer Brian Ujueta’s rimshots were definitely jazz-influenced.

For their encore, Estella and Cardona came out alone for a stripped-down, acoustic rendition of “Kimmi in a Rice Field.” This turned out to be a pleasant surprise as the crowd saw the two performers in a more intimate sense. The rest of the members came out to end the night with the dream-pop song “Ginger” as massive amounts of reverb emanated from the stage that gave it an ethereal quality to it.

At the end of the night Twin Sister proved why they sell out shows. This may be a band that has only been together for a less than five years, but their on-stage chemistry makes it seem that they’re veterans in the scene. With tight-knit dynamics and their perfect blend of 80s-influenced dream-pop and jazz aesthetics, Twin Sister should be a band that’s on everyone’s radars.

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