It’s a testament to the freewheeling nature of Twin Sister’s music that singer Andrea Estella and drummer Bryan Ujueta aren’t worried about releasing a less-than-polished record. Dissatisfied with the terms used to summarize their second EP (“dream pop” being one of the most prominent), last year’s Color Your Life, the Long Island–bred band are exploring new sonic terrain on their first full-length album, In Heaven. Expect more electronic elements and American frontier–style, guitar-tinged melodies.
“To be honest, I don’t know how cohesive the whole thing is,” says 23-year-old Ujueta. “It’s all over the place, and that might be the best or the worst thing about it.” The schizophrenic nature of In Heaven (“We tried various styles to prove to ourselves and to others that we could do different things”) was part of a conscious effort to color their music outside the lines of the indie pop and chillwave labels that they’d been filed under by music publications. “The album is a reaction to the genres that people were constantly boxing us into,” says Ujueta. “In the future there won’t be as much of a need to do that, and maybe then we’ll find a more cohesive sound.”
Let’s hope not. In Heaven’s artfully scattered composition takes listeners on a ride between funky, disco-infused beats on tracks like “Bad Street” and more mellow overtures of synth on “Kimmi in a Rice Field.” Sure, Estella, Ujueta, and their band mates—keyboardist Dev Gupta, guitarist Eric Cardona, and bassist Gabe D’Amico—were hoping to debunk expectations with this album, but they were also trying just as hard to impress themselves. “We started improvising and changing up sections of songs, just to show each other new things on the fly,” Ujueta says of the tracks that were penned last winter when the group lived together in a Hamptons rental house.
Estella, the shy and softspoken songstress who still wrestles with stage fright, adds that her contributions to the album were influenced by personal obsessions, including Japanese anime and childhood parties with her Puerto Rican relatives. These tidbits, she says, give the album a worldly feel. “The record ties a lot of places in the world together—at least, that’s what we intended for it to do.” It seems the road to Heaven is also paved with good intentions.