Twerps is an indie-pop/jangle-pop quartet from Melbourne. They formed in 2008 and have released two albums. Their latest album Range Anxiety was released via Merge Records last January, and it ended up making some year-end lists. I didn’t hear about the album until just a few days ago, and it didn’t take long for it to muscle its way into my listening space. I haven’t listened to the whole album yet, but I’ve listened to this song and a couple of others a bunch of times. And I like it very much.
Like just about every Australian indie band, they claim The Go-Betweens as a big influence. Like just about every Australian indie band, lots of people say that they are reminiscent of The Go-Betweens. Maybe “The Go-Betweens” is an easily recognizable signpost, but I’ve always thought it to be a lazy and clichéd reference when writing about Australian bands. If writers insist upon comparing them to another Australian band, I just wish they would say that Twerps sound a bit like what might happen if you took The Lucksmiths and removed all of the puns and clever wordplay from their lyrics. That’s kind of what I hear. That said, I have to reveal an embarrassing truth: I’m not very familiar with The Go-Betweens.
I like that while they all contribute vocals, the band has two lead vocalists. I like that they use a lot of coed vocal harmonies. I like that they often use call-and-response vocals. I like that the harmonies are often imperfect. I really like that there’s something unmistakably Australian about the mathematics of their songs. Something that I can’t explain, but I know it when I hear it.
“I Don’t Mind” by Twerps
That Je ne sais quoi quality that I was talking about makes me a little giddy. And that’s great.
You can purchase Range Anxiety via Merge Records here.