Psychic Twin’s new track “Dream State” is just that, a swirling rush of glittery synth arpeggios and soaring vocals that affirm the dream-pop fantasies of duo Erin Fein and Brett Sanderson, the vocals and music behind this Chicago-based project. Psychic Twin got their start a few years ago when Fein turned her ’80s new-wave upbringing into melodic nostalgia. Memories of favorites like Fleetwood Mac and Cocteau Twins helped established her vocal delivery early, with plenty of reverb and layering present on early demos. The vintage, dual-layered effect of her vocals is what inspired the group’s name. When she met Sanderson, a producer with a knack for rock-infused electronica, the direction of their new project was clear. The duo inched their approaches toward the middle spectrum, where Fein increased the tension and intensity of her vocals while Sanderson began trying his hand at lusher arrangements.
Several years later, Psychic Twin have reached their most refined sound with two tracks on their new 7?, Strangers: the self-titled titled track and “Dream State”. The underwater reflective qualities of the lead track provides for plenty of excitement, but I’m smitten most with “Dream State”. “Dream State” is more coherent and less covered in gauzy reverb; it seems like the best display of the group’s evolving arrangements. Fein’s vocals have similar range to Grimes, whose ability to alternate between angelic cooing and ferocious bursts are noted. The final minute of “Dream State” is nicely indicative of the more aggressive thrust, with the swirling arpeggio hopping perfectly around Fein’s echoing vocals. The addition of drummer Jonny Sommer is one reason for the group’s fuller-bodied sound, but the growing songwriting partnership of Fein and Sanderson seems like the primary factor.