I found this band early one morning on Instagram. They followed me shortly after I posted something Satanic and the premise of Satanic doo-wop was too damned interesting to pass up. To paraphrase the “About” section on their website, they are here to break the notion that the Dark Lord only digs on metal. Unlike so many other acts that begin and end their involvement with Satanism on the stage, Twin Temple truly live the life. In true Satanic spirit they fight against conformity of all kinds and strive to give voice to those who are not heard, Alexandra and Zachary James seem like super interesting folks but that’s not really why we’re here is it? No. We’re just here to talk about the music. So let’s do that.
The first thing I noticed when I put on Twin Temple’s album was Alexandra’s vocals. They’re like smoky honey. Think somewhere between Ella Fitzgerald and Amy Winehouse. The accompanying music is straight out of the late fifties with warm guitars and some brass thrown in for good measure. The whole sound is relaxing and sensual. This may not be something that I could jam every single day but when the mood to kick back with a cool drink and unwind hits, this is my new go-to. There’s something about the combination of sonic qualities of the oldies and lyrics that endorse the Left Hand Path that works so well.
I could probably bore you all to death with comparisons to legendary performers and the wonders of the oldies; there’s just something magical about it all, really. Instead, I am going to go ahead and pick a few tracks to talk about in more depth.
The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It) – A fun little ode to free will. There’s a special place in my heart for bands who start an album strong, and Twin Temple nails it with this. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album. All of the elements come together in this track to tick all the boxes and give a solid introduction to the tone of Twin Temple.
I’m Wicked – Such a good tune. There’s not a lot more than I can say for this one. It’s just so damned good. There’s a point toward the end of the track where Alexandra is pouring so much into her vocals that it gave me chills. Seriously, her voice is so perfect.
La Femme Fatale – An ode to the magic that is women. I feel like this song could be incredibly empowering to so many. With lyrics like “I’m sorry that women are necessary to the survival of humanity” and “Tell me what is so sinister about a woman” the challenge of the long standing double standards of men and women are clear. Like, as a dude, I don’t even feel super comfortable going too deep into this tune. I’ll just say that it’s great and more people, regardless of gender, should give it a genuine listen.
Let’s Hang Together – This is my favorite track on an album that is full of really enjoyable tracks. It’s a love song for a married couple. It’s Bonnie and Clyde. It’s Mickey and Mallory. It’s fucking beautiful. I feel like it could have done just as well as The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It) for an opening track because of how well it showcases the sound of Twin Temple. “If you die, I’ll die gladly. Just please don’t hang us separately,” if that ain’t true love boiled down to its purest I don’t know what is.
If you’re in the mood for some oldies but you’re also a fan of all things dark, please give Twin Temple a listen. If, even after reading this review, you worry that Twin Temple are gimmicky I promise you that will all melt away within a couple bars. The lyrics are smart, sometimes a little funny, and the amount of pure soul in this album is absolutely mindblowing. You can stream this release on Spotify and buy it on a bunch of different formats on their official website.