If Oh, Ramona was Jordan Geiger's bedroom-pop debut album, then Lonely Twin is the sound of Geiger's Hospital Ships solo project moving up to a three-room suite. Exploding outward on album opener "Love Or Death," Geiger gives voice to those "...on the outside, always looking in," while injecting enough electronic beats, buzzing organ riffs, and joyous handclaps to elevate this sophomore Hospital Ships album from modest humility to self-assured confidence.
Perhaps that's because Geiger, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, former member of Shearwater and the Appleseed Cast, and principal member of the now-defunct Minus Story, has taken the fractured Midwestern influences of The Flaming Lips and Bright Eyes to fresh new heights. "Honey Please" is a rollicking slice of queasy, off-kilter rock, but tender tracks like "Bird In Furs" and "Phantom Limb" revisit Geiger's bedroom strengths: intimate, majestic moments of indie-pop beauty that rise and fall with the crescendos and valleys of his high-pitched tenor.
First album single "Carry On," available in a limited run of 300 pink vinyl units, is pristine and sparse, a classic for any musical age that hinges on Geiger's appeals to live life without reservations: "We will laugh till we cry and drink till we're drunk… To all of the songs that I wished I had sung, you will ring in my ears till my days are done." Yet the song rises up from Geiger's bedside table, climaxing with buzz saw electric guitars that hint at stomping anthem "Reprise," which implores the attuned Hospital Ships listener to "Hold this hope in your heart."
Lonely Twin also alights in AM pop, doom rock, and dusty folk territory, but through it all, Jordan Geiger maintains a balance between optimism and desperation, both necessary attributes to survive in these turbulent times. With Lonely Twin, Geiger ventures out of his comfort zone and into the delightful yet dark surrounding world. It's a journey on which you'll definitely want to join him. File under: Midwestern Existential Fuzz-Pop.
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