In my mind, they came out of nowhere.
Al I did was take a quick browse on the Canadian iTunes Jazz page, and there it was - one of those big, feature windows that scrolls across the top, grabbing your attention, pushing the latest "Hot New Releases". A black and white photo of a woman in flapper drag, and a male sax player, spotlit upon a black background, beside the words "TWIN DANGER".
Falling for that neo-noir aesthetic, I was immediately taken in - feeling that stomping pain on my heart, relating to the heartbreak of Sam Spade in those old Bogart movies, or anyone who drowned their heartbreak sorrows in a smokey bar.
With a recent Canadian release, it's time to bring out the "cool next thing in Nu Jazz"-kind of thing. US reviews come from only the best publications. "The Press" has been rapping adulations on this band for awhile now. Let's drop some names, shall we: NPR Music, Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz Magazine, Grammy Pro, Billboard, Huffington Post, even the Wall Street Journal.
The band's website's Press page reprints review after review from the past year or so, hailing this cross between "Frank Sinatra and The Clash" as a fresh new sound of the jazz genre.
Just who are Twin Danger? Well, as it turns out, they have a fine musical pedigree, thank you very much! Stuart Matthewman was the man responsible for all those steaming sax sounds on Sade's collection of hits. Needless to say, his input also included some co-writing credits. Vanessa Bley is, yes, the daughter of that famous Bley - jazz pianist Paul Bley.
Brooklyn-based, these two are injecting some fresh blood into a retro genre that is proving to be an exciting development. Check out the video for their song Sailor. To me, it's reminiscent of a Sade video - a mini movie based around the band in a nightclub. Be sure to click on the Full Screen button to maximize that movie ambiance!
I guess that's where the comparisons end. Where Sade used the retro feel to enhance a bossa beat, Twin Danger adds a mysterious edge, a "smokey nightclub situation", to quote Bryan Ferry, to their image and sound.
See what happens when they take on a cover of rockers Queens of The Stone Age's No One Knows. Punch this one up to Full Screen as well, but be forewarned - filmed from what seems like the viewpoint of the drunken beau in the front row of the club, the camera constantly sways and moves, all while band members move in and out of the tiny spotlight. It can be somewhat uneasy at times, but it works. See for yourself.
The album's opening song, Pointless Satisfaction, seems to be the Most Popular download on the album's iTunes page. But here at This is Lounge, the most popular may not always be the best choice for this station's sound.
That being said, we're proud to choose the second track on the album, Coldest Kind of Heart, as the "first listen" of their wonderful album......and wouldn't you know it - they've already gone and released a video for it! Mmmmmm....do you think this could be the NEXT Most Popular track? Perhaps with our broadcasts and your purchases we can see them garner some Canadian (and more worldwide) attention.
It's already been playing for a day or two on the station, but take another few minutes to enjoy the video for Coldest Kind of Heart, shot in stark black and white. Belly up to the bar and order "a shot of broken heart, with a loneliness chaser", then sit back and enjoy.