Nostalgia can be a wonderful tool – it can evoke strong memories and enable an album to quickly and subliminally penetrate your soul.
With their album A Wake Glasgow based Two Wings succeed in transporting you back to late 70’s Laurel Canyon and early 80’s Sunset Strip without leaning on those ideas too heavily.
On the surface their influences are fairly clear – they even hold the same male/female ratio as their most obvious influence, Fleetwood Mac – but while they certainly call to mind the memory of ‘the Mac’ they also exploit the better sounds of The Eagles, Heart and Kate Bush, yet their ability to surprise, however, is where they triumph.
To newcomers, of which many of their listenership will be, debut single ‘Peace-Fear’ showcases the best they have to offer from a radio play stand point with its sweeping vocal and keyboard led melodies.
The listener is at once arrested by the unorthodox high vocal of Hanna Tuulikki while being soothed by the beautifully familiar guitar licks employed by Ben Reynolds; one part Lynsey Buckingham, two parts his own wonderful creation.
‘Stranger’ and ‘Adieu’, the albums two stand out tracks; find Two Wings at the sum of their powers utilising all their ability and all their influences to fantastic effect.
Tuulikki’s soaring vocals are complimented beautifully by melodies verging on the pastoral, while there is no mistaking the evocative 80’s guitar riffs brought back into vogue a number of years ago by Midlake and now rising again with the popularity of The War on Drugs.
The only track open to real criticism is ‘We Can Show You More’, which borders on prog-folk and breaks up an album loaded with otherwise moving and memorable tunes.
Two Wings are a melting pot of ideas both old and new and are clearly coming around at the perfect time to accumulate a substantial fan base for their particular brand of intelligent and well crafted soft rock.
A Wake deserves attention, not only for the clever – but not overused – nod to its influences but for the subtle nuances within which could, and will likely, be missed by a consumerist music audience obsessed with ‘instant hits’.
Bands like Two Wings don’t come around very often and we should hold onto them tightly as this album suggests that they certainly have a breadth of talent equal to their forebears.
Words: David Mcphee