Twin Falls
Gig Seeker Pro

Twin Falls

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Folk


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs



"Dreams of far off places and memories close to home with folk’s newest young rebels"

Searching for a way in which to describe Twin Falls debut EP We Will Begin To Flicker seems easy: There’s obvious comparisons to draw. You could say their melody’s are similar to Noah And The Whale or Magnetic Fields – alt.folk shimmers awash with colourful journeys down reminiscent lanes and woebegone landscapes - wishing all those romances away/again where applicable. This first release on Twin Falls own label was also recorded in the cold, bare-faced frost of a somerset outhouse during Britain’s biggest snowstorm in twenty years; a lonesome dwelling akin to Iver’s cabin, or Grizzly’s Veckatimest, and that imbues We Will.. with a lonesome veracity. - SUBBA-CULTCHA

"West Countryman Luke Stidson decided to put his composer hat on and get behind the mic."

Having flitted around the indieverse for a number of years following the demise of the label he ran, Exercise1, West Countryman Luke Stidson decided to put his composer hat on and get behind the mic himself. Recording under the moniker Twin Falls, his lush, bittersweet “lo fi romantic” musings have been championed recently by both Steve Lamacq and John Parish, also known as PJ Harvey’s right hand man. DIY had a chinwag with Luke as he prepares to release his debut.

You’re midway through your first tour – how’s it going so far?
Good, although it’s not much of a ‘tour’ per se, more a string of sporadic dates around the country. A few of the live band have day jobs, children and the like, so it works best this way. We haven’t played live loads, I guess for the same reasons, so at the moment we’re just really pleased that it’s all come together so well. The shows now are definitely sounding the best they ever have.

You recorded most of 'Slow Numb' yourself. Was it weird trying to find people to tour with, and getting them to play how you wanted?
Not really because a lot of them are old friends and one is actually my brother. With the record, I made an effort to play everything I possibly could myself and I knew that I wanted to do the production and mixing all in isolation. It felt right to do it that way, but I didn’t want to work entirely alone – that’s much less fun and naturally there were instruments I wanted that I couldn’t actually play. I’ve worked on recordings in complete isolation and others with more of a traditional band approach. Both are good and produce entirely different results.

Having been in and around music for a number of years, what prompted you to take the plunge and record an album now?
Well, Twin Falls has been going for around 3 years and we self released 2 EPs during the first year. It’s been an ever-changing thing, especially in those first couple of years, with contributors coming and going. It meant I didn’t really have any agenda or know exactly what it was supposed to sound like. All I knew was that I definitely wanted to spend at least a year making the record. Anything less felt a bit half-arsed to me. As soon as I sat down and wrote new stuff and re-worked some of the older songs I felt like I had a bit of a path and after, I guess maybe a month, I realised I’d finally figured what it was I wanted Twin Falls to sound like. So I guess that spurred me on and prompted me to get the record done. Those first few months were pretty harsh but after that it got really exciting as it started to take shape. In the end it took exactly 1 year from start to finish.

The track names seem quite dark and melancholic, yet the music is actually quite romantic. Is that by accident or design?
Probably accident. It’s strange how some people see certain songs darker and others happier or more romantic. Different people hear different things.

Whist most musicians gravitate to London, you’re open about your love for, and writing about, Somerset. How does it inspire you?
I have this odd relationship with it, probably no different to any other twenty-something that grew up in the country and moved to the city. I wouldn’t say it inspires me though. I live in London by circumstance, more because of my day job, so I guess I just don’t have much of an attachment to it. But then I don’t think I could ever live in Somerset again. There are things I love about London but it’s the watered down people in abundance that get me down. Especially those that think living in London makes them a better person. I made the mistake of living around the corner from Clapham for a bit - places like that are full of them. You don’t get that in Somerset. People are pretty genuine, and everyone just drinks lots because there’s nothing better to do. On the flip side, I’ve lived in London for 9 years off and on, so I guess I probably sound like an idiot for criticising. Why musicians gravitate to London to try and make it is beyond me though. The reality is that ‘the industry’ isn’t attending every open mic night. It’s much better to be a great band from a little place and let that be your selling point.

You used to run your own label – Exercise1 – do you think it’s much harder for new bands to get noticed now as opposed to when you were behind the scenes?
There does seem to be less good bands around full stop, but then maybe I’m just not looking as much these days. There always seemed to be so much good stuff out there that we wanted to work on but we didn’t have the resources to do it all. It’s hard in London because even if you are doing something interesting, there are a thousand other bands doing something similar and they probably have more friends than you. The word ‘promoter’ doesn’t seem to mean anything either these days. They like to rely on bands bringing people and some will pay you according to how many people you brought, which makes their job solely to set up a Facebook event and tell you at the end how much you aren’t getting paid. We genuinely thought about the things we pushed and always tried to get people to buy into the label or the club night as an entity itself and I don’t understand where that attitude has gone. Not only are you expected to get to the gig and play for no money but you are now expected to provide the audience entirely by yourself as well. As a small new band ourselves, it makes playing in the capital a lot less enjoyable, although there are notable exceptions like The Windmill in Brixton and The Lexington.

You’ve got something interesting lined up involving “interactive content” for people who buy the album. Care to elaborate?
It’s simply a QR code printed inside the CD package. If you scan it with your smartphone using a free app it’ll take you to a secret site that has a lot of exclusive content. There’s extra audio tracks, bits of video and lyrics etc. It’s a continuation of the kind of extras we used to love doing with Exercise1 releases, where you’d get stuff on an enhanced CD, but that content could obviously never be updated after the release. With this all being stored on the web, we can update it over time and add new things. We quite liked the idea of the record still providing you with new content long after you first bought it.

What do the next six months hold for Twin Falls?
I know that the immediate future will involve finding a new drummer, as ours is moving to Scotland after this next run of gigs. We’re enjoying playing these songs live at the moment so I’m sure we’ll do some more of that, and there are new songs coming together too. Other than that I’ll probably drink a lot of ale and eat a lot of cheese, which is how I tend to spend my time.

"Woozy alt-country, string-laden electronic laments and shimmering production make for an impressive debut from Twin Falls."

Twin Falls – AKA Luke Stidson and his slowly revolving door of musical accomplices – is not yet a familiar name. But his first album Slow/Numb is a genuinely impressive statement of intent: in an understated and beautifully produced debut, there are signs that suggest his under-the-radar profile won’t stay that way for long.

The majority of the album is pitched somewhere between wistful, woozy alt-country and the broken, string-laden electronic laments of Grandaddy – although it is bookended by two fizzing, swooning, and quietly epic laments that wouldn’t sound out of place on an M83 album. The production is big and heavily instrumented, providing a deep river of melody for Stidson’s lyrics, which manage to sound simultaneously cynical and full of hope.

On the instantly hummable lead single Janie I will Only Let You Down, sweeping strings shimmy in between twinkling glockenspiels, creating a twee but undeniably beautiful song which deserves the radio play it has received from Steve Lamaq and Tom Robinson on 6 Music. If they could only see us now they’d swear we were ghosts is propelled gently along by chiming slide guitar before building to a Sparklehorse-esq crescendo – one of the album’s strongest moments. Neil Young’s moribund lullabies are not far away from the soft waltz of Every step we take in the snow. Album closer Alameda Sleepwalking is another standout track – a stumbling beat underpinning a wide-eyed, sweeping hook, and a sprinkling of 80s naivety.

The songs stand up on their own, but the real strength of the album is the meticulous, shimmering production. This transforms moments that might otherwise be more mundane into integral parts of the overall sound of the album. Its a striking debut: expect to hear a lot more about Twin Falls in the months ahead.



'Janie I Will Only Let You Down' (Single - 2011)
'Slow Numb' (Album - 2011)



In a previous life, west countryman Luke Stidson ran the much-missed indie label Exercise1, releasing debut singles from the likes of Twin Thousands, Jeremy Warmsley and a widely acclaimed compilation called 50minutes that included contributions from Daniel Johnston and MC Lars.

5 years later, and the demise of the label had left a hole in Luke’s creativity. One that could only be matched by the holes it had also left in his credit score. Luke quickly went back to doing what he'd done before - writing and recording songs in his bedroom.

Giving himself the name Twin Falls and roping in close friends and family members to play any of the instruments he couldn’t manage by himself, he self-released 2 EPs over the period of a year. Online mag Subba-Cultcha declared the project a 4 out of 5 whilst God Is In The TV called it "essential listening...Twin Falls never let you down", before awarding the full 5 out of 5 marks.

It was a lofty introduction and one that radio soon began to take a note on too, with both Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson providing several plays on BBC 6Music. Lamacq eventually interviewing Stidson on air and dubbing Twin Falls “lo-fi romantics”.

A succession of live dates later, along with a tip of the cap from fellow west country dweller and PJ Harvey right hand John Parish (who included ‘Janie I Will Only Let You down’ on a compilation he was curating), Twin Falls is now ready to release his full length debut record ‘Slow Numb’ later in 2011. A record which he spent a year recording in various living rooms, sheds, garages and barns in his native Somerset. The conclusion is a sound that isn’t ever easy to pin down, but the record seems perfectly cohesive all the same.

At points you’d be forgiven for thinking Neil Young was a big influence on the out-and-out folk/country moments (he is). You may think the nasty fuzz guitar and synth pop combinations were intended to remind you of Grandaddy (they probably were) and you may even think the ethereal light that touches the production as a whole makes a distinct nod to the late great Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. All of this would be true, but it’s the finely tuned oscillation between these points that help give ‘Slow Numb’ its unique character.