Back in 2009, Courtney Ewan Bromley and Andy Bishop conceived Twin River as a quiet, tightly-harmonized folk duo. But things have changed for the Vancouver band, which is now a quintet that records surf-pop ditties and folksy ballads. Those styles shine through on their new full-length debut, Should the Light Go Out.
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“We’re not super easy to pin down, but something we’ve always treasured is what we call ‘the jangle,'” Bromley says. “That’s what we termed our country twang. We’ve gone down more of a psych-rock pathway with this record, but ‘the jangle’ is still there. I can’t shake the country twang.” Bromley and Bishop made EW a playlist packed with artists ranging from DIY rockers DIIV to emerging psych-country star Sturgill Simpson. Bromley compiled the playlist’s first half, and Bishop handled the second. Taken together, it paints a picture of what inspires and entertains Twin River.
DIIV — “(Druun)” “I was laughing as I put this playlist together because ‘(Druun)’ was my favorite summer song. We did a big, long road trip and it was our favorite song to put on our car stereo. It just makes me want to take off and go somewhere. I saw them accidentally in New York for CMJ one time, and it was the best mistake I ever made. I had no idea who they were and I was totally blown away.”
Twerps — “Always Waiting” “They’re great. They’re from Australia. My husband really likes Twerps and we play them around the house all the time—but I think I surpassed him quickly as the biggest fan of our household. It’s one of those summer songs that has stayed around my house throughout the colder months.”
Ladyhawk — “S.T.H.D.” “This is my nostalgia for Vancouver—they’re one of the best bands from there. [Their singer and guitarist] Darcy Hancock helped us produce the record. The lead guitar in ‘S.T.H.D.’ is one of the best things anyone has played. Every time I hear it it stops me. He’s quite a wizard on guitar, that guy.”
Only You — “Love Is Making Me Tired” “Only You is a new project from Rachel Fannan. She was in a band called Sleepy Sun, but stopped playing with them [in 2010] and started working on her own stuff. ‘Love Is Making Me Tired’ has a lot of poppy elements, but heard through a psych outfit. She has a timeless element and one of the nicest tones in her voice of anyone playing right now.”
Angel Olsen — “Windows” “She’s phenomenal—and pretty haunting. [Olsen’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness] was definitely my favorite record that came out last year. She’s a master at making a really dynamic record. You can pull different songs off that album and they’d fit, but together they’re cohesive. The range of her voice and songwriting is tied together in a way that’s super hard to do. “Windows” haunts you—it’ll stay with you forever.”
Reigning Sound – “In My Dreams”
“It’s one of those songs that reminds you of a lot of things you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s a great tune for scratching a few itches at once.”
Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All The Way Down”
“Sturgill really nails this one [off 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music]. It’s a pretty classic country vibe with a psychedelic twist.” [“That’s exactly how I’d sum up Andy,” romley adds.] “An incredibly strong way to start off any album.”
The Limiñanas – “Alicante”
“I’m a big fan of any song that makes you want to get up and move. This is a great start to any late-night dance party.”
Jonathan Wilson – “Desert Raven”
“I just can’t get enough of that guitar line. It’s a good thing he plays it about fifty times during this eight minute jam out.” [“Driving up to record the last record, Andy had just gotten one of Wilson’s new records,” Ewan Bromley says. “We listened to it for the drive from Montreal to Corona. It was influential for the record.”]
Jim Sullivan – “U.F.O.”
“Who doesn’t love a song about UFOs? Throw in The Wrecking Crew as your backup band you’ve got a sure thing.”
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.