Twin Peaks’ previous release, Down in Heaven (2016 Grand Jury), was the theme music to my spring of 2016. You can check out my review of that record here! Last year, the fellas spent the latter half of the year slowly releasing a couple of songs at a time from their latest release, Sweet ’17 Singles (2018 Grand Jury). These guys are known for delivering tracks that clearly display not only their skills as diverse songwriters, but as musicians that just make music for the fun of it. Much of their music is laced with a sense of the joy that comes with making music, despite the content of the track. The first release from Sweet ’17 Singles, “Tossing Tears”, is an insanely catchy track with infectious guitar licks, fantastic piano, backup female vocals (Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham of Ohmme) a weepy violin bit (Macie Stewart of Ohmme) and a group sing-a-long of “Na na nas” at the end. The track itself isn’t overly energetic and though it seems to be about the confusing nature of relationships, there is a brightness to it that is undeniably owned by Twin Peaks. “Tossing Tears” is hands down, a favorite of mine and one I surely look forward to hearing live when they visit Bozeman this coming March 20th.
In stark contrast, “Tossing Tears” is followed by “Under the Pines.” It opens with a glorious “WOOP”, smattered with many more those throughout, and decorated with brass that gives it a real get-down-and-dance feel. Again, throwing listeners for a loop, the entire meat section of the record takes things down a notch. “Sun and the Trees” warms up gently with a good 45 seconds or so of instrumental to really let the mellow sink in. Many of the tracks are more swayers than a bouncers and head bobbers, each one packaged with that fuzzy twang that brings the warmth in Twin Peaks’ music. That warmth is what makes their music so approachable. What they’re doing doesn’t sound complex or overdone but at the same time, it’s not lacking. An excellent example is the more bare, stripped down track, “Fat Chance.” It’s the minimalist representative on the record. Later on in the record is another favorite of mine, “The Meadow.” It and the closing track, “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)”, are the slow burners of the album. You must wait patiently through a majority of the closing track to get to the vocals that kick in in the end.
Sweet ’17 Singles is overall more mellow and simplistic than Down in Heaven. It really highlights who these guys are as songwriters, musicians and downright humans. If you need some easy listening that allows you to not get overly emotionally invested or try too hard to dig deep into the meaning of it all, this is the record for you. You can purchase the record on iTunes, Amazon, your local record store (Bozeman – Cactus Records) or the band’s website.
You can catch Twin Peaks touring with The Districts this spring.