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7inch Sunday: Psychic Twin – Strangers

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

Since we last check in with Psychic Twin a mere five months ago, the group has been featured on Daytrotter, Consequence of Sound and soon – upon an April release – Polyvinyl Records. We previously reviewed Psychic Twin’s Gonna Get Her 7”, which successfully broke down our fortified wall of psych-pop skepticism. Their second single, Strangers, now supported by Polyvinyl Records, continues disestablishing our concerns with a previously established brand of reverb-heavy daydreaming. Reserved and reflective, Psychic Twin is consistently and adamantly filling in the gaps of soundtracks to all of our sleepy, hungover post-weekends.

The cover of the single is a well-shot image of vocalist Erin Fein covering herself with nothing more than what appears to be her own inverted, complex take on the iconic Weezer ‘W’ hands. Also, combining the black and white shot with a minimalist dash of light blue helps to create not only an aesthetically pleasing cover, but also appropriately sets the stage for the tracks behind the image.

“Strangers,” the A-side which recently debuted on Consequence of Sound, is slow to show its true colors; however, the slow burn makes the final product all the more worth the wait. Fein’s vocals creep into the backdrop almost unnoticed against the wave of miscellaneous synth contributions and steady beat. Once they take center stage, a constant and catchy hook emerges, serving as a sonic leaf blower to help organize and clear the murky soundscape. Instruments begin to find their place, the groove locks in and we are able to sink into our chairs and enjoy the ride.

While “Strangers” is a medley of different ideas merged into one track, “Dream State,” the B-side, is the minimal complement. Each individual instrument has incredible tact and purpose with it’s every move, working off one another’s sensitivities and unique contributions. Fein weaves around these idiosyncrasies with a broad emotional range that grows from breathy, intimate whispers to gripping vocal rounds. The end result is a track boasting a foundation of growling synth, embellishments of flighty electro-marimba and occasional decorative surf guitar that manages to never breach our capability to digest it all at once.

Check back next week for a look at Mick Jagger’s Visions of Paradise.

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