In a world of major record labels still signing guitar bands for hundreds of thousands of pounds – and barely any chance of said bands ever recouping – acts like Twin Peaks are a revelation. Here are an outfit in it for all the right reasons: touring, recording, touring, recording, touring, recording.
They continuously manage to evoke the spirit of youthful innocence – Lost Boys stylee – but whereas historically that was always par for the course for indie bands, now it seems more redundant, as if the Chicago act are out there pretty much in isolation. More power to ’em.
Today, they announced the release of their third album, Down In Heaven, which is out on May 13 via Communion, and we’ve got the lead track ‘Walk To The One You Love’ embedded below. It’s a thrill – sounding like The Kinks and T-Rex stuck in the tumble dryer armed with well-worn copies of Oasis’ Masterplan album and The Band’s Music From Big Pink.
PLUS: After the jump, Twin Peaks singer Cadien Lake James writes about the amazing concept behind the new album, which saw the band decamp to a house in the US countryside to bond and create. Like I said: The Lost Boys influence looms large. And as an added extra, we’ve put in a random pic from Twin Peaks’ Instagram account of Clay from the band and the mighty Bruce Springsteen chilling together recently. As you do.
Cadien Lake James writes about how Twin Peaks found themselves, and made new album Down In Heaven:
“We recorded this new album at our close friend Ben Kramer’s house, in Sheffield, Massachusetts, a town in the Berkshire region of the States. Three hundred feet from the house was a lake we would take canoes on in the morning and evening, individually or as group excursions. There was a wooded hiking trail not another 300 feet further. We would all collaborate on cooking dinner each evening. Some of us would get up and most mornings take a short drive down to Bash Bish falls, where we would jump into cold mountain water and drink cold brew coffee we made overnight. It was such a refreshing, rejuvenating place to spend our time between tours and to explore, solidify, and break back down our approach to making music.
“We had all of our gear set up in a large living room, built a drum hut with three walls and a ceiling to isolate the sound (a’la Abbey Road studios and Ringo’s set up), a snake running down the hall to a little room which we transformed into the control room with our good friend Andrew Humphrey recording everything on our nice little Tascam 8-track reel-to-reel. It was a dream. Lucky boys.
“I think there have been some huge changes for us since we did [last album] Wild Onion. When we made that record, I hadn’t yet turned 20 even, and we were, for the first time, recording somewhere that wasn’t my basement or attic with an extremely limited set up. Since then, we’ve been touring for two years, growing closer and tighter as a band, and also going through very formative times of our lives as we all turned 21 and got used to the road being home.
“We’ve all grown a lot as songwriters, musicians, and in general as people and friends. So not only was the starting point different in that sense, but we also knew what we wanted and were able to more genuinely approach making a record in a way we knew we’d be proud of and happy executing, doing it on our own with our own mainly-analogue, vintage gear, in a place that wasn’t a sterilised studio. The similarities are in that we all made it together… the differences are damn near the rest of the process and approach. That all goes without even mentioning that on Wild Onion, me and Clay [Frankel, guitar and vocals, pictured above] both sat down at the piano to do the part at the end of Telephone, as Colin [Croom, keys] watched, likely snickering to himself as he helped engineer and produce, only playing a few synth parts on the record… and now he’s in the band, writing songs, playing on every song, going everywhere with us, our brother…and bringing his imprint to the entire process.
“For me, the most exciting part about making this record was the sense of ownership that we’ve imparted onto the art. This is a record that we made by ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have help, but that we were able to take our time throughout the entire process and make all of the calls we wanted without compromise. Things like recording it in a location we felt completely comfortable, with equipment we owned and didn’t hold us back, taking our time to execute that recording, finding a mixer we were excited about and being involved and present during that process, right down to the artwork, which we did ourselves and took our time in doing.
“Not only are the songs the best we’ve made yet, with the largest sense of unity and cohesion as a group, but I believe we all understand what we’re creating and what it means to us individually more than ever. It also reassured a concept that we’d been aware of since the start of this band, which is that in the end, we can make whatever art we want to make, explore whatever genres and influence we please, and succeed in it sounding like Twin Peaks… because in the end, whatever we’re playing, WE’RE playing it.”
Down In Heaven tracklisting:
1. Walk To The One You Love
2. Wanted You
3. My Boys
5. You Don’t
6. Cold Lips
7. Heavenly Showers
8. Keep It Together
9. Getting Better
10. Holding Roses
13. Have You Ever?
Twin Peaks on tour:
Wed. Feb. 24 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Thu. Feb. 25 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
Fri. Feb. 26 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag [two shows]
Sat. Feb. 27 – Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Tap House
Wed. Mar. 9 – Champaign, IL @ The Accord
Thu. Mar. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Exit In
Fri. Mar. 11 – Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin
Sat. Mar. 12 – Bloomington, IN @ Blockhouse
Fri. Apr. 15 – Sheffield @ Picture House Social Club
Sat. Apr. 16 – Glasgow @ Stereo
Sun. Apr. 17 – Manchester @ Deaf Institute
Tue. Apr. 19 – London @ Camden Barfly
Thu. Apr. 21 – Paris @ La Mécanique Ondulatoire
Fri. Apr. 22 – Évreux @ L’abordage
Sat. Apr. 23 – Rennes @ Festival L’Ere de Rien
Fri. Apr. 29 – Austin, TX @ Levitation
Fri. May 13 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Thu. Jun 9 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival