Listencorp review image of pulpit by twin columns


Twin Columns


Liam Murphy

May 1, 2020

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Plane Crash begins the album. Thumping organic bass notes play out an ambivalent tune. A pedal note rings out of…

Plane Crash begins the album. Thumping organic bass notes play out an ambivalent tune. A pedal note rings out of an accompanying guitar. Everything hums with this serene uncertainty. As if we scan the horizon of the northern wilderness in which the album is set. The sound of thick sheet rain wavers in the background. Everything sways gently until the drawling sound from an antiquated ride cymbal gives way to a more full instrumentation. A guitar plays out slightly distorted chords on occasion.

The album continues to shine with this unsure of feeling calm through the second track Wilderness. Huge towering synth pads climb like great trees ahead of us. The thick instrumentation representing the woods we wade through. The feeling is one of isolation. Cut off from civilisation and thrown into the beauty of nature, unsure of the escape route, enthralled by the natural wonder of the trees.

The calmness dissipates for Like Kurosawa as a wiry percussive line travels alongside pads. Glowing melody and guitar peek through the hazy sounds like beams of sunlight. The track shifts halfway through, pads and a revolving melody reiterate the growing anxiety in tone, before finding its way back to the sun-kissed melody of the start.

Flat ringing pads grow into a fully-formed melody on Hillside. Twin Columns utilises the serenity of bell sounds once again to bring a dissonant shroud of percussion that helps the chords to fill the mix. Thunderous hits begin to drive the track into a frenzied state, all being carried out at a slow and ominous rhythm. The control exerted by the artist is sublime.

Hunt sends thunderous echoes of synth toward the listener a steady beat supporting. The tracks title infers that the lone man’s plight in the thick forests is turning grim, and the off-notes and methodical beat testify to that feeling.

Chase is brief, but brings a change in texture to the album. Twin Columns continues to meld organic and electronic sounds seamlessly. The piano sound locates us in a real space and time, but the organ pads and repetitive rhythm bring feelings of automation and inhuman design.

Snowfall on the Mountain brings mellow arpeggiation of resonant bells moving in a light flurry. A synth lead curls up in the warmth of the loop, its ringing singeing the sounds around it. The artist pools beautifully differing sounds together so effortlessly shaping the world that surrounds us. A beat patiently plays out, giving the melody section a chance to really illustrate the wilderness.

Night comes in Finding Shelter. Heavy ambient noise shifts slightly in tone before a worried pad pushes its way in. The positive notes of the steady beat we find ourselves flung into infer that we have found cover from the sprawling wild around us.

Our cabin for the night pulses with warm sounds and echoes of visitors past. Happy and relieved to find shelter from the approaching darkness we enter into a cabin that seems to glow with the fire of home. Twin Columns sends wave after wave of reassuring pad melodies.

Fire at Sundown brings more cautiously optimistic chord sequences. A midi piano twinkles in the midst of crackling percussion. Choirs chime in with thunderous notes that push the encroaching darkness away. The tunes move with a little more vigour now we find our minds wandering, free of the horror of the expansive woods. Our surroundings even seem beautiful, it feels as though the choir singing comes from the starlit sky above us.

We wake to the earthy reverberations around us. Alone, the keys and pads waver from minor to major. Shifts in mood happen without the listener noticing at certain points. Twin Columns seems to revel in the beauty of subtlety.

Ice Fishing brings a nostalgic melancholia as sounds shoot through the ground below us like fish under the icy lake. The coming of day seems to bring a sadness with it. Out of the creepy darkness of the night, the wilderness breathes with a forlorn beauty.

Blocky synths hum a tune with brevity characterising its notes in The Rifle. A track that pulls back into feelings of uncertainty that lead us into Dream (Self-Immolation). With this song it begins to seem like the thing we should fear the most is not the wilderness around us, but our own sense of loneliness. We shift into a Lynchian dream world with hazy pads and a heartbeat bass drum. Twin Columns delights in long, evolving piano lines. So many of the tracks involve slowly transforming melody lines which are pulled off effortlessly.

Wolf Tracks further the sense of dread as we begin to realise we are not alone in the wildnerness. Mellow synth resonates at the heart of the mix as a piano sound stumbles between the trees. The artist drawing out the thick pads as we follow the trail left by a beast leading off into the thicket. The instrumentation grows as the filter is lifted, letting out shooting high frequency notes that buzz with energy.

These notes carry into Howl, as we enter into a venture similar to that of a synthwave song. The thundering toms amidst of the steady rhythm and buzzing synth lead. But again, where synthwave can sound artificial at times, Twin Columns breathes a beautiful organic quality into the percussion. The beast that stalks us lets out cries to the rising moon, behind us. The song carries both a threatening and awe-inspiring quality.

Mortal Wound starts timidly as the scene turns from a hazy blur to a more refined image. Gentle keys find partnership with a wavering organ as the two stumble along, propping each other up. Whistling synths build tension still with a rising melody. The track rings with an uncertain melody as we finally meet our fate deep within the wilderness. All else falls away, save for a thumping bass note emanating from deep within us, before the tune starts up again. It feels as though a struggle for life is taking place, all the while we still reside in the alien landscape of the infinite wilderness. The instrumentation breaks out towards the end. Clear, plucked notes bring us to a precipice within the forest. A clearing where we can see that night is returning.

Last Fire concludes our journey. More ominous keys as the darkness falls again. Our fire lacking the vibrancy and life of the one from the night before. The dark seems to close in a little tighter this time. However the warmth of the fire lasts until the end of the song, before being snuffed out abruptly as the listener is left with silence.

Twin Columns creates an expansive journey in Pulpit. The artist sets out a beautiful landscape that is scary in its size. But through the use of calmly implemented musicianship, we are able to walk this awe inspiring journey through the daunting snowy forest.