April 5th, 2012 | Album reviews

Walt! Gorecki

Summer Twins
Burger Records

In the tradition of the Thompson Twins, the Cocteau Twins, and actual twins Kim and Kelley Deal come the Summer Twins: Chelsea and Justine Brown. Theirs is not “another stupid summer” in the parlance of 50 Foot Wave, but one of soft-serve, cartwheels and tranquil afternoons in a hammock. The production on their self-titled debut is refreshingly clean and the instrumentation minimal, in contrast to both current indie pop bands and the original Wall of Sound. They bring to mind 90s Brit acts like Helen Love or Talulah Gosh—you got it, twee! Their closest contemporaries would be Still Corners or Betty and the Werewolves, but the Twins add a proud streak of Americana. The record’s standout is the single “I Don’t Care,” which echoes the graceful disengagement of Nancy Sinatra’s “Sugar Town,” Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know” or Young Marble Giants’ “Include Me Out.” “Stars Aligned” has a hula-like quality, complete with crickets and a gong. “Apple Orchards” shares the rhythm of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy,” but replaces the saccharine come-on with earnest natural fructose. “I Could Never Break Your Heart” acknowledges that reality never lives up to fantasy, but resists becoming cynical—and the guitar lick would make Mickey and Sylvia proud. The innocence is alarmingly authentic: the Twins are still quite young! They awaken my big sister instinct.

Bonnie Johnson