Made up of flutes that resemble a whispering wind, strings that bring forth massive, groove-focused riffs, heavily surreal synth melodies that allude to a post-rock sensibility and soul-crushing poetry sourced from a Dylan-esqe folk influence, to describe Twin Flames’ new album Omen as anything other than a colorful cocktail of definitively Canadian sounds simply wouldn’t be doing it justice. In its lead single, “Battlefields,” and many of its other eleven songs, Omen introduces us to a musicality that has no barriers – language, genre or otherwise – but instead an impenetrable connection with the nature of the human spirit. From the melancholic thrust of “Without Tears” to the ache of a balladic “Shadows,” this LP grabs hold of your heart and doesn’t let it go.
Atmospheric melodicism juxtaposed with minimalism tends to feel like the central aesthetical theme of the music here, with tracks like “Human,” “Giants” and “Pisuppunga” faced with counterparts in the strutting heartlander “Outcast,” “Follow Me” and unforgiving title cut, demonstrating duality while also overwhelming us with incredibly diverse content. To some degree, “Battlefields” is the perfect balance between the two schools, infusing as much of a barebones compositional concept with the sprawling melodies of an almost ambient backdrop.
The poetry is sharp while the music is intentionally decadent beyond our reach in “Who I Am,” creating a reflection of human interpersonal relationships without even trying to do as much. It’s rich with wisdom and yet beholden to an innocent self-discovery we witness in the hour the tracklist lasts, and for me, it all adds up to a listening experience I won’t soon forget.
I only just recently discovered Twin Flames through a Canadian colleague this September, but I’m head over heels for what they’ve put together for us in Omen. Through the dozen songs it features, this record doesn’t fall back on any comfortable techniques common in pop composing – it jumps head first off an experimental cliff and dazzles us with just how adept a diver it really is. Twin Flames are a severely underrated duo on the international stage, but I see that changing sooner than later thanks to this awesome LP and its robust lead single.