Zubin Hensler

PREMIERE: Twig Twig - It's Late

Raquel Dalarossa

After two EPs, both released back in 2016, it's about time for a full-length debut from twig twig. Dropping on May 4th via OTHERFEELS records, Darkworld Gleaming will feature eight new tracks from the Brooklyn artist, but until then, we have the album's first single to tide us over.

"It's Late" is an experimental electro-pop earworm with a rough-around-the-edges sound that makes twig twig's music feel instantly intimate and warm. The expert songwriting and mixing should be no surprise to those who know the man behind the solo outfit, Zubin Hensler, given his past life on the stage and in the studio with acts like Sylvan Esso, Son Lux, and Fleet Foxes. Hensler crafts the song's beat using the sound of ticking gears that occasionally skip, as though they're playing from a broken music box. Paired with his soft falsetto, it lends an almost child-like innocence that has become something of his signature sound. But it's contrasted against lyrics like "Try although I try / There's no way to look away," hinting at a quiet chaos around the song.

Of the track, Hensler notes:

"I began working on 'It's Late' in the summer of 2016, it was the first thing I wrote for this new album. I hesitate to say it's a political song, but I think everything was political that summer...I was definitely feeling a big sense of impending doom and searching for a way to process that."

We're looking to hearing what else he has in store with Darkworld Gleaming. Until then, watch our Blue Room video with the artist and pre-order the album here.

PREMIERE: twig twig - Wipe Away

"Wipe Away," the new single from Brooklyn solo project twig twig (AKA Zubin Hensler), is the work of an artist at the top of his game. Tested in the studio and onstage with big-name acts like Sylvan Esso, My Brightest Diamond, Son Lux, and numerous others, Hensler has followed up his debut solo EP (normal feelings) with quite a bit of swagger, and the result is irresistible.

The song starts relatively slow, awash in airy synths, before twig twig's signature groove kicks in alongside heavily modulated, falsetto vocals. It's not long before we're treated to an explosive chorus of retro-sounding electronics, and rolling lyrics that can't help but get stuck in your head: "I could be the one to drive you insane / I could be the one you run around in the rain with / Tell me what you wanna do and I'll be there / Giving it everything I've got."

It's not so much the structure of "Wipe Away" that makes it impressive—in fact, it's a pretty standard verse-chorus-verse. What's exceptional is Hensler's execution, replete with layer upon layer of instrumental texture and brilliantly managed tension. The song never drags, and closing out at 2:46, hitting the replay button is almost reflexive. Chances are we'll be doing that right up until his new EP drops later this year.