Postdata – Twin Flames
For more than a decade now Wintersleep frontman Paul Murphy has directed a portion of his creative energies to Postdata, a side project that allows him and musical collaborators to experiment with a more acoustic, folky, down-to-earth style than in his main group.
The third Postdata album, Twin Flames, has now arrived and it’s a pleasant little record that showcases the Canadian rocker’s ear for a tune in a more relaxed setting.
Opener Haunts is aptly named, with brooding lyrics and slightly downbeat vocals lending an unease to the warm glow of Murphy’s musical sensibilities. The track that follows, Inside Out, features Wintersleep’s Tim D’Eon and Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan, and is an altogether catchier affair. Like fourth number, Yours, it’s the kind of song one might imagine Chris Martin writing if Coldplay had stuck to the lo-fi style of their post-Britpop emergence, rather than becoming an all-consuming pop behemoth.
Twin Flames’ third song Nobody Knows resembles the soundtrack/advert-friendly indie-folk of Family of the Year, or Fun, with its driving drumbeat and chanted inflections.
It’s on the swooping melancholic title track, with its spoken-word verses that Murphy shows Postdata’s latest effort is a more interesting affair than anything those groups managed when they were ubiquitous at the start of the 2010s. It’s where producer Ali Chant truly comes into his own – with hints of his previous work with Portishead and PJ Harvey in a song, originally intended as an instrumental, that builds to a brooding conclusion.
Kissing, meanwhile, sounds like something David Gray might’ve recorded in a bad but creative mood (which is meant as a compliment), before Behind You picks up the pace again with a jauntiness that sounds like a 21st century version of the Traveling Wilburys.
The final two tracks are something of an epilogue, with My Mind Won’t a fairly standard soaring number that layers on echoed vocals, but fails to capture the attention in the way earlier efforts do. Meanwhile, Tomb is a rather downbeat sign-off.
On the whole, though, listening to Twin Flames is a refreshing experience – at nine tracks long it doesn’t outstay its welcome and there’s not much filler, while, as Postdata, Murphy manages the not to be underestimated feat of pulling off thoughtful, acoustic indie folk-rock without succumbing to the tweeness that all too often pollutes the genre.
Twin Flames is released on 5th March 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Postdata – Twin Flames’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Twin Flames here: