Twist is the Toronto-based indie rock project led by Laura Hermiston, a longtime fixture of her city’s music community. In 2013, she began working with Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck to produce a number of her songs and over time, their creative partnership turned more collaborative in nature, leading to Twist’s debut LP, Spectral.
The album showcases the duo’s straightforward songwriting that nods to 90s alt rock and shoegaze with electronic beats and experimentation. To get these contrasting flavors in their sound, the the band utilizes a mix of equipment, starting with their Fender guitars and amps (plus Hermiston’s Gretsch Chet Atkins), drum machines, and effects.
“I love making beats and experimenting with analog drum machines, so I used my CompuRythm 8000 and Roland Rhythm 77 and run them through analog tape delays and space echos. A lot of my vocals were run through tape delays too. They are unpredictable but worth the trial and error. I always use my Death By Audio Reverberation pedal and Fuzz War pedal,” she said.
Hermiston has described Spectral as being about “growing pains,” but along with the heartache and confusion that often comes with that territory, the record is also loaded with nostalgia. “There is a longing for the past in many of the songs on Spectral. It’s easy to glorify people and experiences as time goes on. You forget the negative aspects. In a way, holding onto nostalgia makes it hard to grow. It’s difficult to move forward if you’re always looking back,” she said.
Twist’s latest video, “Can’t Wait,” explores that idea of viewing the past with rose-tinted glasses. Directed by Benjamin Dabu, the video takes inspiration from two of Hermiston’s favorite music videos, “1979” and “Today,” by the Smashing Pumpkins and has an aesthetic reminiscent of Camcorder-filmed home movies. It a series of feel-good scenes, the video follows characters enjoying a number of mundane but awesome teenage activities including sleepover parties, going on drives around the neighborhood as soon as one of your friends gets their license, playing with sparklers in the summertime, and more.
“[We] wanted the scenes to speak to different emotions and experiences that I think we’ve all had or wanted to have,” Hermiston said. “There’s a degree of youthful naïveté to many of the characters in the video. They’re portrayed as young people in intimate scenarios—hanging out with close friends, preparing for important opportunities, living in the moment—but the video is showing the way we remember these moments differently than the way they actually were.”
Check out “Can’t Wait” below. Spectral is out today on Buzz Records.