In Heaven, the debut LP from Long Island indie-poppers Twin Sister, is a subtle record, the kind that doesn’t hit you at first, but after a few spins, it becomes like pajamas: something you don’t think about much, but appreciate when it is good. That’s not necessarily the most ringing endorsement for a band’s record, but Twin Sister aren’t really a band made for bold statements, end-of-the-year list placement talks, or next-big-thing promises. This is a band that is good at what it does, nothing more and nothing less.
Released a year after their second EP, Color Your Life, started them down the path to hype, In Heaven finds Twin Sister in slightly better sonic quality, but in the same soft ‘80s pop wheelhouse they left. Touchstones like Stereolab, Tom Tom Club, and every ‘80s solo female singer who wore lycra in a music video are easily discernible throughout In Heaven, but Twin Sister succeed in sheer enthusiasm. The bad kids vigor of the strutting lead single “Bad Street,” which finds singer Andrea Estella moaning “I want it bad” over and over, is the closest In Heaven gets to perfection, with its multiple hooks and irrepressible vocal performance. Deeper cuts like the boy-girl call and answer “Stop,” the crystalline “Daniel” and epic closer “Eastern Green” show that Twin Sister could ride this style into the glamorous dirt and still come out with something worth listening to.
But it’s (slight) musical exploration that fills out In Heaven, for better or worse. Twin Sister are still a young band figuring out the parameters of their sound, which leads them to trying the weak noodled spaghetti western of “Spain,” the repetitive retro-isms of “Gene Ciampi” and the drony balladry of “Luna.” These tracks are all less than successful, but In Heaven has to be viewed in total as a success. After a pretty hot summer of hype in 2010, Twin Sister return with a full-length that shouldn’t make anyone feel tricked or disappointed. Twin Sister live up to their advance press here: They’re a good band with room to grow, and a couple great songs.