We spent a good deal of time covering the impending release of Twen’s debut full-length, Awestruck. We were overjoyed at the news back in March of 2019 that they’d signed to Frenchkiss and would be releasing the album via them. We were equally as pleased when the band released four singles from the record and two incredibly great videos for “Holy River” and “Damsel.” So, with all that pre-release coverage in place, it only makes sense to actually tackle the record itself.
With four singles leading into the album it was a fairly safe bet on where to place expectations; a delicate balance of indie pop informed by some shoegaze elements and the occasional off-kilter vocal lilt. What’s surprising is the places the album goes that is only barely hinted at within the singles. “Baptism” gives a glimpse at the more chaotic places the album is willing to go but it isn’t until you dive into album tracks “Awestruck”, “Long Time” and closer “Horseblood” that it really clicks that the band isn’t just writing shoegaze pop songs, they’re willing to infuse some soaring cacophony when the occasion calls for it.
All things considered, Twen’s story is relatively short. They released a Live EP back in 2016 and now find themselves with a major indie release and a robust tour schedule behind it. That’s not to underplay their hard work; the opposite in fact. The band’s unique blend of elements and willingness to embrace a bit of dramatic presentation with a massive wall of sound is a brilliant and infectious accomplishment. When the time comes for Best Of Lists to crawl out of the woodwork, Awestruck should be considered in the short list.