Sweet '17 Singles

Review of '17 Singles' by Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks

Our Rating

8.0/10

Compilation records almost seem like an outdated concept in the digital age, and have mostly survived in the physical world to give fans a one-stop way to listen to singles. Though many would expect Twin Peaks’ own transparent singles collection to be just that, the band definitely leave you with something that’s about as close to an actual record as a compilation gets. Though there are definitely some out of place moments, Twin Peaks use the medium to make a record that feels just as varied as it does hold together. Has a surprising amount of cohesion despite some of the switches in feel between sections of the album.

“Tossing Tears” is just as lush and dreamy as it sounded when the band first released it, with its laidback groove and raspy delivery making for a soothing listen every time. As calm as it is however, the growing mix of riffs and orchestral wonder the band infuses into the track make it the most memorable. The Lou Reed-esque grit of “Under The Pines” keeps it from feeling like a bland blues-rock track, as the band’s constant sense of attitude livens it up. The horns and boisterous shouts that grow louder by the song’s end give a real sense of live that expands it beyond the intentional lo-fi sound.

The blend of vocals on “Shake Your Lonely” is about as close to a duet as the album gets, as the band lean into the more Mac DeMarco swing of their sound. This said, the euphoric energy they put behind all their chorus cries and raucous, layered hooks keep it from feeling too relaxed. “Sun And The Trees” dives into psychedelia wholeheartedly, as swelling strings and guitar pedals create a foreboding and magical sound. Though the band’s use of growing instrumentation definitely lifts this track, the lack of variety in the writing itself holds the song back a little.

This lack of change is quickly shed in “Come For Me” as the bright vibraphone colours all of the pre-choruses beautifully. The carefree hope in the lyricism is also a welcome step for the band, as they really try to craft a narrative in their music. Unfortunately in the overall scheme of the album “Fat Chance” is totally out of place, and reminds you the most that this is definitely a compilation album. Though sonically estranged from the record, the song really captures a classic blues story and stands stronger on its own.

“Blue Coupe” uses its piano in creative ways, almost emulating a guitar in its subdued performance to give the song a much more unique sound. The whimsical energy they get through their melodies and the tones of the keys make for a simple rock track that does so much more. The piano complements the sliding guitar hooks with warmth on “On The Line” showing a real creativity in the band’s sense of instrumentation. There’s a warmth to the lyrics as well however, making the track an enticing and wholesome listen to brighten a dark day.

While it definitely is a lot busier and higher-energy than the start of the record, “With You” ties in a lot of the various sounds of the record in a clever and subtle way. This invigorated sense of energy makes the constantly shifting sections and aggressive hooks all the more powerful when they pop in. Though it definitely slow-burns more than a two-minute song should, “Just Because” creates a sense of tension in its long wait that really leaves you hanging on every note. While the release isn’t as pumping as you might hope, the depth of their sounds make it worth it.

“In The Meadow” really starts pushing the ambitious writing, as the trippy effects and slinking groove it rides on makes for the band’s most psych-rock track in some time. The sense of fun they lace into the breakdown however is what really makes this song stand out, and really gives the song’s long runtime wings. The biggest surprise of the record is “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)” that achieves the rare feat of making a lyric-less song feel truly accessible. Pushing their abilities as writers to the limit, they create a truly enveloping song that transcends the need for vocals and soars on pure melody.

Words by Owen Maxwell