reviewed by Eleni Armenakis
Dark folk’s Hollow Twin are back with their latest EP, The River Saw Everything. Duo Emmalee Watts and Becky Wosk, who first met on a rainy, overcast day, have been developing a sound made for rainy days. But their latest carries a new weight, even as it gives the musicians catharsis.
“This album is not about loss and grieving, it’s about light and dark and what we all deal with as human beings,” they explain on their Facebook page, about an EP that captures a personal loss for Wosk, and the impact it had on her.
First track “The Valley” rolls the album out, a steady beat keeping time with the song’s hard march. The endurance pouring out of the pair on the track leads into the growing awareness of “All We Have,” as time slips away. “There’s no saving anyone,” they sing on the opener, before reminding us that “time is all we have.”
“You can run but you can’t hide,” they sing on the devastating “Night Bells.” It’s a haunting song, all the more resonant because of the layers of pain revealed in only a handful of words. The song is the album’s dark centre, almost overwhelmingly raw as the sparse lyrics fade into the looming chorus.
But the EP’s darkest moment also marks the album’s turn towards the light, as “Strangers Now” takes the first steps into reflection. It’s not a perfect turn—and The River Saw Everything doesn’t try to strike a perfect balance—as closer “Broken Bones Waltz” takes stock of what’s left. But it’s light, and dark—and striving for the light.
Top Track: “Night Bells”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)