reviewed by Laura Stanley
When I was first introduced to Twin Library it was through their short release, Softer Seasons. A charming collection of gritty, lo-fi folk-pop songs, Softer Season had a lightness to it despite the heavy sound. Where The Abandoned Reel has the same lo-fi folky sound, the lightness, for the most part, has been replaced by more melancholic tunes.
A whooping fourteen-song offering, The Abandoned Reel is just another notch in the extensive back-catalogue of Twin Library, continuing to seem almost effortless for this Edmonton band to make simple but worthy songs.
“The Dark Ships” begins The Abandoned Reel off with one minute and forty-six seconds of the more reckless side of Twin Library. Filled with distortion in a more rock outing, “The Dark Ships” perfectly sets the tone for the darkness of the album.
“I See You’ve Got Horses” and “A Country Heart” which both have lyrical nods to country life, also have heavily sombre tones. “I See You’ve Got Horses” has a thundering percussion section while “A Country Heart” has a lulling picked-guitar part and the addition of a violin in the chorus, allowing both songs to be able to fit in the album nicely.
But it’s not all gloom in The Abandoned Reel. Despite the minimalistic recording, one of the things that I think is so great about Twin Library is their ability to write a short and sweet folk-pop song. “Has my drinking approved since I last saw you?” the opening line from “A Great Song,” a title which speaks the truth, asks, “When I First Heard The Train” and “Nighthawk USA” are more of the same short but poppy gems.
“Archives” is one of the more multi-faceted songs from the album including several guitar parts overlapping for a very warm sound. Speaking to a past love, the story behind the lyrics make them the strongest from The Abandoned Reel.
Twin Library’s continual ability to generate lo-fi folk pop songs is impressive to say the least, and The Abandoned Reel is another addition to the already good collection.
The Abandoned Reel, along with their back-catalogue, is available for name your price via Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “A Great Song,” “Archives,” “Nighthawk USA”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)