Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
May 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

What They Do

musfeat twinsThe Shook Twins showcase adventurous side on new album

Despite being based out of Portland, the Shook Twins’ Laurie Shook says Santa Cruz holds a very special place in their hearts.

“For our previous two albums, we came down to Santa Cruz and recorded at Indigital Recording Studios with Brody Bergholz,” she says. “It’s an awesome studio, and those people are near and dear to us.”

Bergholz has a reputation for creating remixes that fuse electronic elements with acoustic folk songs, which is part of the reason the Shook Twins were drawn to record at Indigital. Some of their most popular songs are electronic remixes created by Bergholz.

When it came time to make their new album, What We Do, however, the twins opted to record in the Northwest. But we can’t blame them.

“We were thinking about coming down there again, but we decided to stay in the Northwest so the whole band could come,” Laurie says. “When we would come down to Santa Cruz before, it was broken up into pieces because not everybody could make it down there. So it was great getting to do it all at once this time.”

Previous releases from this indie folk pop group have tended to be whimsical both in terms of content (“Long Time,” for example, from 2012’s Window, is about robot love) and performance style (Laurie is a proficient beatboxer, while her sister, Katelyn, sometimes clucks like a chicken). But, while there are moments of levity on their new record, which drops this week, it has a far more serious tone than fans might expect. Laurie says this tonal shift was completely organic.

“It wasn’t intentional,” she says, “It just comes with a maturity of songwriting and our change of pace. We’ve been more attracted to darker tones and eerie vibes than to light, poppy, and happy ones. Some of the songs are still that way, but our tastes are changing a bit.”

“They are certainly a folk band,” says Bergholz. He expects they will stick to those more traditional roots in their upcoming projects and performances.

What We Do is full of the twins’ characteristically gorgeous vocal harmonies, and a very adventurous musical spirit. “Daemons” is an ominous Americana number about struggling with inner demons, while the engaging folk strains and tales about traveling the country and making music with friends in “Toll Free” makes it the sort of song that would be most appropriate around a campfire.

The album’s somewhat eclectic nature is proof that the Shook Twins are willing to try just about anything, whether it’s for their own project or someone else’s. Laurie and Katelyn have been part of acclaimed Portland pianist and composer Ben Darwish’s Americana project Morning Ritual for a couple of years, and they have just joined a choir that will accompany another artist’s new project. For Laurie, opening herself up to as many creative avenues as possible is a joy.

“One of our favorite parts about music is collaborating with other people, and I sometimes enjoy being a backup singer more than I enjoy being the lead singer,” she says with a laugh. “It’s nice to not be the leader all the time, and to open yourself up to somebody else’s art. We just like to stick our feet in other people’s projects.”

And even though the twins aren’t specifically involved in a new project with Portland singer-songwriter Nick Jaina, he did give them their biggest challenge ever last year. That the twins accepted said challenge—and it was a huge one—speaks volumes about their dedication to the creative process.

“We challenged ourselves, at Nick’s urging, to write and record 20 songs in 12 hours back in January 2013, and it was awesome,” Laurie laughs. “It was a fun challenge.”

So how did it go? “We ended up doing 20 songs, but about five of them were ridiculous,” Laurie recalls. “No. 17 went, ‘We’ve hit a waaaall! We’ve hit a waaaall!’” 


The Shook Twins will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, Don Quixote’s, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. Tickets are $12/advance, $15/door. For more information, call 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival