Twen - Awestruck - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Twen - Awestruck

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2019-09-20
Twen - Awestruck
Twen - Awestruck

The oddly-named duo, vocalist Jane Fitzsimmons and guitarist Ian Jones began three years ago in Boston. In fact, their debut EP features live recordings from their first gig at the Track Shack in Allston, MA on 27 August 2016. Now based in Nashville, the couple re-recorded those five songs for their debut album, supplemented by a couple of preview singles and three new tracks.

The duo have a broad appeal across the dream pop/psych/shoegaze spectrum, with the title track kicking things off in a distinctly Cocteausy vein, Fitzsimmons’ dreamy delivery hitting all the Liz Fraser hotspots: ethereal, angelic, and romantically enticing. ‘Damsel’ has been teased on various blogs and websites, its punchy delivery and jangly backing adding an ’80s-inflected sheen to its 21st century DIY aesthetic.

The hiccupy ‘Honey Smacks’ has a B-52s party atmosphere, but the rest of Side One sags with aimless ballads that seem designed to stretch the duo’s musical adventures at the expense of the listener’s attention. ‘Baptism’ returns to atmospheric Cocteausy shoegaze (right down to Fitzsimmons’ unintelligibly garbled lyrics) and one of the early singles ‘Waste’ may be the album’s strongest track and one that will appeal to fans of everyone from dream poppers Dum Dum Girls to the stadium filling Fleetwood Mac! Lo-fi, DIY popper ‘Azkaban’ and the reflective ‘Horseblood’ bring this promising debut to a close.

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