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Twin Sister Don’t Quit Their Day Jobs

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 17:01

Twin Sister

Shawn Brackbill

Twin Sister

The sound of Long Island's Twin Sister exists somewhere between a lucid dream and an acid trip. It's the kind of band that might make you think of neon hues, bubbles, aquariums and art exhibits. This is due to vocalist Andrea Estella's arresting, jazzy voice hovering over electro snap, crackle and pops. In many ways, Twin Sister's work is an invitation via hypnosis to some kind of time-warped dance party. And they're still just pre-gaming.

It's been just a little over two years since Twin Sister played its very first gig at a hipster trap in Brooklyn called Superfine.

"We had to be pretty quiet, we were playing while people were having dinner and there was a couple with a baby pretty close to the front," keyboardist Dev Gupta wrote in an email. "Gotta protect those baby ears. We used to play shows so rarely in the beginning that each one was a special occasion. We'd practice for weeks just to have enough material to play for 25 minutes."

The Long Island group has since evolved from playing in a dorm at Rice University to playing shows with tUnE-yArDs, Devandra Banheart, Cults, Beirut and Explosions in the Sky. More importantly, they made some serious impressions on folks at the 2010 SXSW festival.

While the band writes prolifically – you can stream a bucket-load of aural wanderlust from their website, including a series of "Bubble" songs that have inspired some of the band's recorded material – its sound is a little restless and varies from being groovy dance music ("Bad Street" or "Gene Ciampi") to chill enough to lull someone to sleep ("Kimmi In A Rice Field").

"I think our biggest problem and asset is our struggle with identity," Gupta said. "We change what we want to be from song to song, but as we write more and more, we've begun to understand what our band is a little better. So, I would say that we're actually going to move towards being more coherent in the future, at least that's the hope."

Twin Sister is a composite of a few different Long Island bands that all met about four years ago at a Battle of the Bands. Drummer Bryan Ujueta and guitarist Eric Cardona were in a hardcore metal band that was competing against a group that featured keyboardist Gupta. They also met vocalist Andrea Estella. According to Gupta, Ujueta and Cardona's band won.

With two critically-acclaimed EPs under its belt, the band released its first full-length In Heaven in September last year. Despite touring and some fan love, the band members still have day jobs."Got a job/feeds three" as Andrea Estella says at the end of "Bad Street."

"We're currently just below the level required to make a living being in a band," Gupta said. "Sometimes it's difficult to explain to people just how little money there is in music these days. Blog posts and general enthusiasm on the internet don't always translate to cold hard cash, plus splitting everything five ways doesn't help. Add in paying the people we work with including management, labels, booking agents and lawyers and you're left making less money than you did working that shitty high school job you want to forget. But, we love doing it and have done it for years making nothing, so any money at all is an added plus."

The band's tour in support of In Heaven kicked off at the end of January after a brief winter break and Gupta is already looking forward to working on a new album.

"We've been wrapped up in the In Heaven record cycle for a few months now and are really anxious and excited to work on new things," Gupta said. "I'm not sure how many old things will make it into our new work, but we are constantly recycling old melodies and ideas, so I'm sure a few will pop up. Can't wait to record and demo like crazy."


Twin Sister w/Ava Luna, The Rhythm Room, Tuesday, January 31, 8 p.m., $10 adv, $12 dos

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