On June 8, discover Dreams, the new EP from Twisted Pine. Praised by NPR for their “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; virtuosic solos” and “tight harmonies,” the acoustic quartet deftly reimagines seven pop, rock, and disco favorites. Twisted Pine wrote every song on their acclaimed, self-titled 2017 debut album. Now, after their mashup of Vulfpeck and father-of-bluegrass Bill Monroe went viral, they’ve turned to Sam Kassirer of Great North Sound Society (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter, Elephant Revival) to record inspired interpretations of Blondie, The Beatles, The Cranberries, and others.
The Cranberries’ late Dolores O’Riordan was a major influence on bandmates Kathleen Parks (fiddle) and Rachel Sumner (guitar), who weave a sweet and spooky harmony on O’Riordan’s 1993 hit “Dreams.” Sumner revs things up with Joni Mitchell’s “Raised on Robbery,” an unforgettable cruiser sped along by the airtight rhythm section of Dan Bui (mandolin) and Chris Sartori (bass). The two singers blend cool seduction and high wattage on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” which, in spite of its name, makes you feel like doing nothing else.
Instrumentally, the group shines on “Funky Kentucky,” a surprising, swinging reinvention of Monroe’s “Kentucky Waltz.” Parks doesn’t so much bend the lyrics as sculpt them, while she, Bui, and Sartori dig deep into the groove bag for a dexterous and soulful string interlude. Vulfpeck’s “El Chepe” and an elegantly far-out “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” complete the fun and free-spirited offering.
Though steeped in traditional music, these musicians are also fearless, tuneful improvisers and passionate lovers of pop. Each member impresses on their own, but the ensemble playing and arrangements, incorporating tasteful hints of percussion and keyboards, create a sound that is more than the sum of its parts. Even when Twisted Pine plays the music of legends, what you hear most of all is their singular voice.
Dreams is a proud production of Signature Sounds Recordings. Be sure to see Twisted Pine on tour throughout the spring and summer of 2018, bringing what one critic has called a “charming as hell” live show to stages from Maine to Texas.