Psychic Twin is a dreamy synth-pop project helmed by Illinois native Erin Fein. Her songs typically feature lush synthesizers, propulsive beats, and fluttering backup vocals inspired by singers like Kate Bush and Annie Lennox. Originally from Champaign-Urbana, she began writing and recording solo material during the early 2010s, taking the name Psychic Twin as she found herself channeling energy that led her to believe that she was spiritually collaborating with her non-existent twin. Gradually, Psychic Twin incorporated synthesizer player Brett Sanderson and drummer Jonny Sommer. The group's first release was 2012 single "Gonna Get Her," issued as a 7" by Lefse Records. Following Fein's divorce, the group moved to Brooklyn in 2013, and Polyvinyl released the band's second single, "Strangers." Over the next few years, Fein documented her life experiences with her songwriting, and the group shifted lineups, eventually ending up a duo with drummer Rosana Caban. Remix EP Chrome Sparks Meets Psychic Twin preceded the group's debut full-length, Strange Diary, released by Polyvinyl in September 2016.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 9, 2016 | Polyvinyl Records
Psychic Twin's Erin Fein wrote the songs on her debut full-length, Strange Diary, over a four-year period, during which she went through a divorce, moved from her native Illinois to Brooklyn, and switched musical collaborators several times. Given all of her major life changes, the album is remarkably cohesive, with most of its tracks being catchy, uptempo synth pop tunes with lush synthesizers and fluttering vocals that equally channel Kate Bush and '80s-era Annie Lennox. The songs are dreamy, propulsive, and slightly chilling, particularly due to the ghostly, subliminal backup vocals. Lyrically, she's torn apart by her emotions, bluntly expressing her emotional conflict on the brief, slightly Andy Stott-sounding opener, "Heart Divided." Throughout the album, she's constantly running away, returning, chasing, and losing herself, and it's unsure what her final decision is (she ends the album repeating "I will stay" before twisting the words into "Will I stay?"). What is certain, however, is her knack for writing exceptional melodies. Songs like "Strangers" and "Stop in Time" immediately sound familiar but not derivative, and "Lose Myself" (which ends with an echo-shrouded repetition of the words "get over you") feels like an instant hit. The album ends with "The Deepest Part," which has a bit more of a live band sound than the preceding eight songs, as it contains post-punk bass guitar, shaker-heavy percussion, and disco handclaps along with its chugging synthesizers. Strange Diary is an instantly appealing debut album that distills several years' worth of ups and downs into a set of sharp, affectionate tunes. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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