Twin Temple, the creation of Alexandra and Zachary James, is the Satanic doo-wop you never knew you needed. In an unlikely collision of tastes and interests, Twin Temple’s freshly released debut album is a love letter to the bygone genre of the 50s-60s and the tones that iconized it, all delivered with a heavy dose of devilish allure. Opening with the sly swinging of “The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It)” and Alexandra’s sultry croons, the duo immediately establishes themselves as faithful followers of the sounds that inspired their music. Songs like “Lucifer, My Love” and “I Know How To Hex You” are delightful flips in the genre that trade tales of naive teenage-love for some of the band’s main interests, such as magic, sexuality, femininity, the Occult, witchcraft, and self-empowerment.
But what is perhaps the strangest thing about Twin Temple’s album is how perfectly genre and subject matter mesh together into something so curiously and sublimely fun to listen to. It might seem out of place at first given the association of Satanism with more heavy-metal sentiments, but disrupting conformity in any form is one of the main goals of Twin Temple–and there’s really no better synthesis of that idea than a Satanic doo-wop band. You won’t hear any virulent riffs are hoarse screams of Satanic worship on the entire ten-song album; what you will find are slow-burning ballads like “Sex Magick” and “I’m Wicked,” which unravel their fiery passions in the form of hot-white brass instrumentation and Alexandra’s raspy calls.
In fact, the album’s instrumentation is what makes it so enthralling to begin with. There’s a ton of delirious trumpet work and sweltering piano diddling, offering-up a certain sincerity to Twin Temple’s personal dispositions; especially on the patriarchy-crushing “Santa Muerte.” A few other album highlights are “Let’s Hang Together,” which features some particularly groovy guitar work and is a pure love song at heart, and “Femme Fatale,” an unhinged anthem of female-empowerment that Alexandra gives all her energies to and ends hand-in-hand with “IN NOX” through a wild meandering of jazz-inspired instrumentation.
At its core, Twin Temple’s debut album is as much a tireless and adoring homage to the golden-age of rock-n-roll as it is a vast reinvention of its spirit. But for the duo behind the band, it’s also a means of living out their beliefs of free-will and inclusion through their music and at their shows. According to the band, although they aren’t seeking to change anyone’s beliefs, they don’t see Satanism as something to “hide away, deny or be fearful of.” We can appreciate that sentiment, especially when it’s delivered via the raw transmissions of doo-wop and rock-n-roll that Twin Temple has created.
Listen to Twin Temple’s debut album below!
Twin Temple will be performing at Echo Park Rising on August 17 at 11 p.m. Their debut album is available in vinyl, CD, and digital formats here. Visit the band’s website and Facebook for updates on future releases and tour announcements.