Album Review: Twin Peaks
Sweet '17 Singles
words by Ava Butera
Everyone’s favorite band from Chicago has shared their first major release since 2016’s, Down in Heaven. However, the compilation of songs titled, Sweet ‘17 Singles, isn’t an album at all, but instead consists of various singles Twin Peaks released throughout the duration of 2017. This compilation is dreamy, retro, and reminiscent of 60’/ 70’s folk rock music. With that being said, this relaxed and dreamy feel, is something somewhat new for the band. Sweet ‘17 Singles showcases a very different sound for Twin Peaks, when comparing it to their previous work.
In 2014 a small garage-rock band that was new to the music scene, known as Twin Peaks, was quickly categorized into a genre with mundanely similar indie rock bands. However they were doing something creative and extremely different than anyone else in the genre and classifying this innovative band into one category would simply be doing an injustice. Raw, punk-influenced, and slightly underproduced music seemed so effortlessly cool, especially from such a young band with so much potential. Flash forward two years to the release of Down in Heaven, and that same new band with potential became innovative and composed. Despite the sudden sound change, this band proved special and ever-evolving. And after for what felt like forever, the band began releasing single after single of new material a year later.
Sweet ‘17 Singles shows Twin Peaks playing around with their sound yet again, and this particular experimentation is definitely my personal favorite. Songs such as “Under the Pines” reassures the listener that even though the band has changed up their sound a bit, Twin Peaks are still somewhat sticking to their roots with almost-yelling vocals, fun guitar riffs, and group harmonies. The seventh track on this compilation, “Blue Coupe”, features bassist Jack Dolan on lead vocals as well as an upbeat piano melody played on loop for the duration of the song. This song shows a different side of the band, a more calm and collected version of themselves. The last two songs, “In the Meadow” and “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)” feature long instrumentals and close out the album well, in a very non-Twin Peaks fashion. However, despite me constantly contradicting myself by saying that this is and isn’t a traditional Twin Peaks album, the versatility of the compilation proves to be the only constant.
I’m not sure what it is about this compilation, but it has intrigued me since its release on February 9th. Maybe it’s the heavily guitar-driven musicality, the crooning vocals of lead singer Clay Frankel, or perhaps just the aura and mood that each song presents itself as. But whatever it is, I’ve become an even bigger fan of Twin Peaks than before, and I didn’t even know that that was possible. This album shows as more mature Twin Peaks, with a more sophisticated sound. The songs on this album are definitely more radio friendly and appealing to the average listener than their past material. However despite that, lyrically this album is still blatantly Twin Peaks; simple and effortless words with music in the background.
Whether you despise the fact that Twin Peaks compiled all 12 singles they released throughout 2017 into one release or you enjoy it because now you can purchase one vinyl LP and listen to them cohesively, Twin Peaks has done it again. They’ve released yet another effortlessly cool collection of songs that is bound to make you eager for more.