There is an air of sophistication, of melody, of late night movie soundtracks, black and white images of bars, glasses clinking, and cigarette smoke, in the music of Twin Danger.
And you get the impression they’re sort of going for that.
And while the captivating image on the cover of Twin Danger’s debut album further lends itself to such interpretations, all for the good. Because it could not more perfectly match the spirit of the wonderful music within.
The creation of two musicians with fascinating pedigrees, Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman, the band plays music residing somewhere in the middle of straight jazz, pop and R&B: There are no deliberate commercial compromises in evidence, groove is everywhere, and everything simply…flows. Their new album is easily one of the year’s finest, and it gets better with every hearing.
So who are they? You already know the music of Stuart Matthewman: He is the co-founder of the group Sade, featuring the singer of the same name, and of that band’s instrumental offshoot, Sweetback. He is a multi-instrumentalist, but you’ll especially hear him on saxophone In Twin Danger, and you’ll likely recognize his tone.
Complementing him in the band is vocalist Vanessa Bley, whose fascinating background—she’s the daughter of artist Carol Goss and legendary jazz pianist Paul Bley, a performer and songwriter who’s collaborated with Estonian performer Kerli, and a notably striking performer—helps put the “Twin” in the danger the band offers in live performance.
At South By Southwest last month, the band stopped by Brazos Hall for a very distinctive Up Close session—you can tell our cameraman was having a good time—and mesmerized us with two of the finest performances we witnessed. They will likely be going places, and we’re happy to provide you this early view.