Katie Ernst – Bass, voice
Andrew Green – Drums
Dustin Laurenzi – Tenor saxophone
Collaborative trio Twin Talk’s eponymous release is a cohesive and original album that brims with a vibrant fluidity and a poetic sense. It is simultaneously angular and melodic, and is provocative and enchanting. The members of the trio weave their distinctive sounds into a charismatic collective expression that instead of sublimating their individualities, it highlights them.
Bassist Katie Ernst opens the contemplative “Martha” with a lyrical solo. She exhibits superb virtuosity in handling her instrument as she adds a mordantly dark layer to the densely textured tune. Saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi lets loose melancholic, undulating long notes with which he constructs the main theme while drummer Andrew Green creates an expectant soundscape with his rustling kit and splashing cymbals. What emerges is an elegiac tale peppered with strands of nostalgia and joy.
Another example of this delightful synergy is the haunting “One Foot in Front of the Other” that has an almost baroque structure. Ernst’s vocalise and Laurenzi’s sax echo each other in crescendo refrains. Ernst’s reverberating strings and Green’s rumbling beats form the track’s loose rhythmic framework. At the core of the piece, the music becomes freer and unfettered, as three overlapping spontaneous monologues emerge. These improvisations remain tuneful as they continue to push the proverbial envelope in inventively edgy ways.
Ernst articulates the lyrics of the dramatic “Living Room” in her rich and sensual voice as she simultaneously plays pensive con-arco phrases. Laurenzi pierces the tense ambience with his wistful and passionate tenor laced with hints of vibrato. Green subtly drives the song with his galloping drums and impeccable timing. Ernst’s ethereal singing undulates over the main melody while Laurenzi’s evocative notes shimmer and Green’s organic percussion percolates. The result is three interdependent, but distinct sonic strata that form an intimate and tender musical verse.
With its second release, Twin Talk continues to explore its unified artistic vision. Its style has crystalized and its sound matured, making their sophomore effort both intellectually satisfying and emotively poignant. The seamless camaraderie between Ernst, Laurenzi and Green make Twin Talk seam like a single, polyphonic creative engine.