Ethereal Wuthering Heights
The cover art for sister-duo Colette and Hannah Thurlow’s (also known as 2:54) new record, The Other I, shows a woman immersed and withdrawn into herself, as her hair whips around her and she disappears into the white background. It is an ethereal image that draws the viewer in and holds their curiosity. In this way, it is the perfect image to represent the sisters’ sophomore effort.
Many of the songs have an ethereal quality to them. They are able to create a mood and keep the listener there, something that many artists struggle with or are completely unable to do. They create moods that would be fit for an adaptation of Wuthering Heights: dark and somber. These moods are created by the drums, vocals and guitars.
The drums are the most varied element of the album. This is illustrated in the raging and driving eighties, Phil Collins-esque drumming on the opening song, “Orion” to the tribal and electronic drums of the final song, “Raptor.” They help create the element of mystery that is so integral to the duo’s sound.
The vocals are similarly mysterious, as they let their notes stretch out over the elaborate instrumentation. The most interesting and striking songs are the ones in which they use a dual vocal attack to the best of their ability, as is the case in “In the Mirror”—one of the only songs where the sisters harmonize throughout. The shortest track, but also one of the most arresting on the album, “Tender Shoots,” where they sing in canon (the same parts in succession). This makes it seem as though the two vocalists are in a conversation and adds another dimension to the atmosphere they create.
Likewise, the guitars contribute to the ethereal quality of the music with most of the songs using heavy reverb. The only song, which doesn’t is “No Better Prize,” which uses the quiet-loud dynamic that was made popular by The Pixies. However, it fits into the sonic palette of the album.
The only true weakness of the album is the lyrics, which are drowned out by the instrumentation. This is a band that you get immersed in and lost in, but don’t necessarily emotionally connect to. Nonetheless, it takes you away.