When Twinnie says, “I am either trying to break your heart, make you dance or both at the same time”, she means it. One need only listen to her new EP ‘Welcome to the Club’ if further proof were needed. She wraps loneliness, heartbreak and regret in catchy rhythms, pop-fuelled beats, and feelgood vibes that require you to dance through the hard times. It is another deeply personal record from the British Country music sensation whose debut album ‘Hollywood Gypsy’ contained the same profound emotion as in this latest offering. The only difference is, Twinnie confided in our recent interview with her, that the album “was an insight into who I am [whereas] ‘Welcome to the Club’ is a statement of what I am about”.
The title track tells us that Twinnie is an artist who is inclusive, inviting the outsiders; the broken, the burdened; the lost and the lonely into a space where “worries disappear”. This is the place for those who don’t feel like they belong to get caught up in the powerful sound of a song with a powerful message. Draped in luxurious country-pop tones, it both reflects her own feelings of insecurity and uncertainty while speaking to a universal experience of searching for acceptance and embracing personal identity.
Her penchant for clever lyricism coupled with infectious rhythm continues into ‘One Heart’. The song throws you into some delightful strumming of an acoustic guitar before exploding into a chorus that is big and bold in its presentation. It rises from the kind of sound associated with a Shires song to feeling, by the end, like a Carrie Underwood production. Twinnie’s vocals burst with emotion but always remain softly restrained rather than breaking out into a powerhouse performance. It means that the song retains a heartrending core so that, even as it makes you want to dance, there remains a pain present within it.
Third track ‘Something or Somebody’ definitely invites the listener to the dancefloor. It contains some seriously likeable guitar riffs and the kind of cheerfully happy “woohoos” that would make Thomas Rhett jealous. Twinnie copies his brand of country-pop down to a tee here, once more inviting the listener to relate to specific experiences that speak to universal feelings of loneliness and regret: for “We’ve all got something or somebody that we’re trying to quit”.
It is not easy to quit listening to Twinnie though such is her ability to convey truth and honesty through her songwriting. The final song on the EP, ‘Dying Inside’, is a real root-and-branch example of what she’s about. Through some gorgeously-crafted lines cut into an expansive and atmospheric soundscape, we hear the two sides of a story in which “to everybody else it looks like / I’m alive but I’m dying inside”. The pathos of the narrative marries perfectly with the music to continue Twinnie’s winning formula of outpoured emotion with absorbing sound. It is this combination that ensures ‘Welcome to the Club’ sits comfortably alongside ‘Hollywood Gypsy’ as a record that seeks real connection with her listeners.
It is a welcome addition to her already-incredible catalogue of music.
Review written by Gareth Williams (twitter.com/lostinbluejazz1)