Twig Twig | 1’s and 2’s | Premiere
“I thought that we could weather anything, whether crippled whether glistening.” – Zubin Hensler
Twig Twig creates music in ways writers create novels, and yes, somehow even on what feels like the cameo-identity of the EP format. With “Get Lost” starting off the album, an ambiguity sets upon you, what are these sounds? They are shimmery like broken glass bottles, hint at oceania, and evoke a canvas of controlled messiness. While the tones confuse my ears, I have little time to analyze–the little clicking of kick-patterns–and a delightful buzz-saw bass that comes in to tether the abstraction into something a bit like science.
“Little Tough” is actually a really amazing juxtaposition of ideas and rhythm. Everything seems to be dancing behind the beat of the toy-piano, at first it’s apparent, and eventually like many of Twig Twig’s songs the mist settles in, and an entrancing effect takes over. “Little Tough” features a buckling towards the end that really pushes singer/song writer Zubin Hensler’s voice into the forefront, it’s something that inevitably gets wrapped into the mist of Twig Twig. But around the 1:45 mark, the words jump out through the effect-chain, (whether that was intentional is up to the joy of interpretation) “I thought that we could weather anything, whether crippled whether glistening.” And it’s at that point I begin to wonder what this material says to me, and with a great sense of release, it speaks to the sounds as well as the sounds say, or try to say, or wish they could say.
“Head Straight” features a sharp pizzicato note played over a detuned pad, an octave pitch set onto Zubin’s voice guiding the verses, while the use of his falsetto breaks up the gutturalness, “Look me in the eyes and I’ll never go,” he sings as the chorus transitions into a dance like 4/4 pattern that grooves wonderfully and releases much of the tension of the atonal verses and otherwise loose time. “Wipe Away” plays off more poly rhythmic fun and a small trip-hop element sneaks into the rhythm section.
Zubin Hensler is no stranger to having folks appreciate his work lately, I’m honored to help premiere the release of 1’s and 2’s, I honestly forget why artists bother making EP’s, Zubin reminded me if you make EP’s this strong and exploratory, they have the power to create intrigue: 1’s and 2’s really does build off from his last EP Normal Feelings (Talk Go is how I first discovered his work) and implies a sense of synthesis of his craft. If you’re new to Twig Twig, I’d be happy to highlight some of his previous endeavors, simply for allowing them to speak for themselves, although who doesn’t enjoy a genuine compliment from time to time? As you now know, Twig Twig is the solo project of Zubin Hensler, a move from Seattle to Brooklyn set him on course to writing and releasing music under the moniker. While in the past, as an instrumentalist, he has performed/recorded with Daniel Rossen, Sylvan Esso, Fleet Foxes, Half Waif, Julia Easterlin, Vieux Farka Toure, The Westerlies, and Dave Douglas, amongst other locals. He has also composed music for films seen on Univision, Pivot, The New Yorker, the National Geographic website, and numerous international film festivals, it’s likely there could be some overlap with the soundtrack world, as his music doesn’t explicitly push the voice front-and-center.
If Normal Feelings interrupted the lack of Human-driven electronica, 1’s and 2’s I hope shines some light on a talented individual, who’s curiosity and zest for music & sound, speak to deeper elements within us. If you find yourself playing it on repeat and forgetting the time, I think that’s the point. 1’s and 2’s by Brooklyn-based Twig Twig is now available on Bandcamp for purchase here for only $3.