During times of rapid change, it’s usually those brave enough to take life by the reins and simply enjoy the ride that come out on top, and this is certainly something that can be said of Twin Limb.
Beginning life as a duo, Lacey Guthrie and Maryliz Bender embarked on a recording session that was to change the dynamic of Twin Limb forever and see them absorb their then-producer Kevin Ratterman into their sonic bubble. And as it turns out, that bubble grew into their expansive EP Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense, a record that sees Twin Limb fully showcasing their emotive, densely layered dream pop ethos.
On the surface, the band have a more folk orientated set up with drums, guitar and accordion at the fore, but Twin Limb manage to morph the their sound into an expansive, singular sonic landscape filled with exquisite harmonies and a touch of heartache.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the band to talk about how their EP came together, and how embracing change can be a truly positive thing.
Could you introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about you?
Hey, we’re Twin Limb! Lacey’s on the accordion/vocals, Maryliz is on drums/vocals, and Kevin is on guitar/sampled sounds. We’ve been this manifestation of Twin Limb for just over a year. Lacey and Maryliz are designers/developers by day, and Kevin is an engineer/producer, and owns La La Land, the studio where we practice and record in Louisville, KY.
Your new EP Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense has just been released into the world. How does it feel to get it out there?
Maryliz: It’s such a relief to finally have something available to share with the world! It’s also the first official album release that I have ever been involved with, so it’s terribly exciting for me. This is a dream come true and I’m just thanking my lucky stars that I was able to make something that I’m so proud of with two people I love very dearly. It’s also great to be able to point people to the music. Now when people ask me what we sound like, I don’t have to come up with a clever genre name for them to ponder.
Tell us about how the EP came together.
Kevin: The main catalyst for the EP was really to get something out into the world since it was becoming apparent that the album wasn’t going to come out until the spring. We had some opportunities to release the album earlier but are so excited about it that we really wanted to get the timing right. Also, since we’ve evolved as a three piece from a duo the songs have been taking new shapes that we wanted time to evolve properly and re-address in the studio. So the plan became to put together an EP of older material to at least have something out in the world. We did it fairly quickly in our studio and had an amazing time making it. We learned a lot.
You began as a duo but have now swelled to a three-piece. How has this affected your sound and the way you operate as a band?
Lacey: There are a couple of new things happening. We’re not limited to two bodies. Really we’re not even limited to three if you’ve seen Kevin playing live, he’s multitasking like crazy back there. We can go from writing and recording to playing shows without losing the sound we’ve recorded and love so much. The second (and most important) change is that we have three brains in the mix now, and Kevin’s brain is really special to us. He hears an idea for a song and knows exactly what it’s meant to be like, what would fit, what it’s missing, etc. I think Maryliz and I have thrown our hands up and said ‘god that’s perfect’ at everything he’s written. We click creatively and it’s really, really nice. We’re lucky.
The central instrument in Twin Limb is quite unconventional. Why the accordion?
Lacey: I held an accordion for the first time at Bizane’s Music here in Louisville and I fell in love. There’s no feeling like playing one. It’s got lungs, it vibrates against your chest when you play, it’s heavy, and the sound is unique. It’s not the most practical instrument but I’d feel lost without it.
Your EP has a really deep atmospheric and textured quality to it. Is this something you specifically want to achieve in your music?
Maryliz: I don’t think it’s something we specifically thought about or aimed to achieve at the onset. Once we record the basic tracks, we tend to come up with tons of new ideas in the recording studio, and we explore all of them. During the process of recording this album, we kept adding layers and atmospheric sounds that we fell in love with and are now able to produce live by sampling the instruments we played in the studio.
You covered ‘Yoo Doo Right’ for the EP. Are you big Can fans?
Kevin: Our studio was built to heavy doses of the entire Can catalogue! The freeness of sound and rhythm is a huge inspiration. Also great for those long stretches of empty highway.
Word on the street (well, the internet) is that you were working on an album when you took on an new member. Are you now starting from scratch or re-working that material to incorporate your new dynamic?
Kevin: Maryliz and Lacey entered the studio as duo with the idea of me working as a producer. The collaboration was so effortless and it became apparent that we desperately wanted to be in band together after the album was recorded. The songs took new forms with almost no question to everything that was happening as we constructed them. So once the album was completed, we started playing shows as a three-piece and were able to introduce the textures of the album into the live show. We were extremely happy with the record, but as we toured and started playing more vigorously the songs starting taking on new lives of their own.
Then after recording the EP for a fall release, we really found a sweet spot on the production side on how to capture the sound of the “band” while still being in love with lots of elements of the initial magic from the first session. So essentially we’ve made a hybrid, taking many of the sounds and samples from the initial record and applying more of a live feel to the sound of the basic tracks. The result has been extremely exciting! We are currently mixing those tracks and added one brand new song and couldn’t be more amped about it.
So, when can we expect an album from Twin Limb?
Lacey: We’re aiming for this spring.
What’s next for Twin Limb over the next 12 months?
Maryliz: We’ll be releasing a music video in the very near future and we’re currently shaping a plan to hit the road for a good chunk of time, starting in early 2016. We’ll be announcing those dates as we confirm them pretty soon. We’ll definitely release a full-length album within that time and we’re already writing new material, which we’ll continue to work on. We’re super excited for 2016!
Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense is out now.