It may sound odd (or even erroneous) to claim that an album as methodically-paced and dreamy in demeanor as Sound Of Ceres’ sophomore album is comes off as being both exciting and fascinating, but there’s honestly no other good way to characterize it. As a whole, listeners will find it easy to sink into and get lost within the lush and beautiful sounds which emanate from the album, and not be terribly inclined to try and escape it as it plays; minute-by-minute, there is no jarring event which might push any listener out so, once they’re in, listeners will be in for the duration.
As “Gemini Scenic” gently opens the album’s A-side, listeners will find they’ll have no difficulty at all falling under the spell of the music. For the first minute and a half or so, a very synthetic backdrop comprised solely of keyboards and Karen Hover’s whisper-sung vocals help listeners ease into the sonic landscape they’ve created, and the effort required is pretty negligible – it’s after that first minute and a half, when the sound and tempo both begin to build, that the going gets really dramatic. Now, that is not meant to imply that the sound gets spontaneously darker or more dire, just that it gets more dramatic; the way that the sound swells on this cut is instantly engaging and, when it eventually begins to recede (as the song reaches its end), it will leave listeners wide-eyed and ready to follow Sound of Ceres. Wherever the band leads.
After “Gemini Scenic” sets the stage for The Twin, most of the rest of the album’s running is spent decorating the landscape that Sound of Ceres has established. “Humanora” is the first cut after that introduction and sees Karen Hover assert her presence in the mix a little more dynamically (read: she projects her voice a little more) while cohort Ryan Hover takes an angle similar to Flaming Lips’ spacier and more existential offerings to flesh out the sound behind Karen. “The Trance” adds some more warmth to the body that the band is creating to excellent effect and then the A-side closes with an incredibly Lips-y cut in the form of “10 Scenic,” which focuses more on atmospherics and vibe than actual songwriting (Karen’s vocals are nearly unintelligible as she both whispers and sighs her way along). Now, it could easily be contended that closing the side on a more static note, as “10 Scenic” does, would be problematic (presumably, the band WANTS listeners to keep on their way along into the B-side of the album), but the truth is that the way the side ends does its own (albeit complicated to explain) barb: the whispers and more muted structure are a great tease which will have listeners rushing toward the B-side to see what more there is, or if the A-side was all that Sound Of Ceres has in them to offer.
…And while the B-side does begin slowly as the album’s title track leads it much the same way “Gemini Scenic” opened the A-, listeners will certainly find that their patience has been rewarded, before long. The almost biological feel of the beat which pushes “Mercury’s Moods” along coupled with the duet vocal supplied by Ryan and Karen Hover proves to be hypnotic and beautifully informs the more rockist instrumentation boasted by “Solar Mirror” before “Even V reverts to more electronic climes to close the album. Overall, there’s no question that it’s easy enough to make one’s way into and out of the B-side of The Twin – just as was the case with the A-side – and the end of the album leaves listeners feeling satisfied at least – if not ready to take the trip again, right away. It will really just depend on how moody they’re feeling on any given day, and how interested they are in absorbing music as artistry more than music as product. That may seem like a simple question to answer, but one listen to The Twin exemplifies several of the reasons why it isn’t easy first, and how involved the experience of finding all the reasons why it can be incredibly rewarding, second.