29 February 2012 (released)
11 November 2013
What do a blues harp and a ukulele have in common? Nothing except they’ve been partnered incongruously within a psychedelic throwback pop twosome’s work. Legitimate twins, the probably-not-so happenstantially named Mona and Lisa Wagner, hail from Austria and their debut album, ‘When We’re Together’, belies their tender teen years in delivering a classic 60s pock and rock ‘n’ roll mentality that flourished in intelligent song writing, etherealness and spirituality.
The young ladies deny being “nostalgic”, rather they are hoping to continue the good work of the era and believe that it is still relevant for modern audiences. Music has always been revolutionary so there’s never a bad time to rehash a greatly underappreciated genre. Still, for this particular contribution, you’d need to have a serious proclivity for chirpy, folky ditties that sound like they should be scoring the familial interaction timelapse scenes of daytime dramas.
Somehow though, ‘When We’re Together’ manages not to sound Pop in the contemporary conventional sense of the word. MonaLisa Twins infuse timeless and internationally identifiable topics of love and loss into the songs whilst lending the compositions a refreshing tone that exclaims their worldliness. There’s no overbearing solos or lyrical fillers so, whether you’re a fan of this distinct style or not, you’ll appreciate their abilities as multimuscicians and lyricists. The likes of Bob Dylan or Sir Paul McCartney wouldn’t turn down performing one of these songs down, and that’s the highest praise I can impart on the exciting duo.
The album is fun and wistful in parts; energetic and ballsy in others; but always of high production values. It’s taken three years to get here, but now that it has arrived, it doesn’t disappoint as far as entertaining indie records go. I guess if you name your daughters after a masterpiece and they share the family name of a great composer, then this is the least we can come to expect. They’ve risen to the challenge brought upon them by being born the recipients of some extremely noteworthy monikers.