Releasing an album is always a momentous occasion. It takes time and funding to create and record music. For The Twins of Franklin, it also means that they can finally start putting the fruit of their labor back into their pockets. As podcaster, bassist, and music director Rob Morgan shared before welcoming them to the stage, the album was entirely funded by the gigs they’ve played.
This is just one of the reasons why The Twins of Franklin have so much potential. Their heart and hard work show in their performances. They are clearly driven and determined. The release of their first album Low is a testament to those attributes. For everyone at the Icehouse last night, it was obvious how grateful and excited these two ladies are to finally be at this point.
As if the night wasn’t important enough, the location of the show itself is special to the twins. They hosted Becky’s album release at the Icehouse. It’s also where she met her husband, in addition to being in the neighborhood where Becky and Laura lived together on Franklin and Hennepin.
Opening the evening was Kara Laudon, who released Old Lives late last year. Accompanying her was an entourage of musicians that brought her lush arrangements and powerful themes to life. The audience was engaged from the start, but “Leave You Alone” brought a significant bump in energy to her set. Guitarist Steve Bosmans added a solid parade of tones and textures to each song.
“This House” was another charged performance, with drummer Reese Kling tightly driving the band. It was the slower songs at the end of the set that should leave a lasting memory for everyone. Kara’s soft, smiling voice shone brightly on “Free Space.” Watching the band slowly build the song into a swell was quite beautiful.
THE TWINS OF FRANKLIN
Emerging from the shadows in matching pink jumpsuits, Laura Lou and Becky Shaheen took the Icehouse stage and immediately dove into “What’s the Point.” Since it’s the most dance-able track on the new album, Becky and Laura channeled some of their music video energy on stage. After a lovely performance of “Baby Blue” from Laura Lou’s album Echo, violinist Jillian Rae joined them. She added strings to the title track “Low” and then “In My Mind,” a song from Becky’s Serial Dream release. It was a great collaboration.
The set continued with “Doin’ the Work,” a driving pop song that utilized the power of the full band expertly. As we discussed in an interview a few weeks back, the album is filled with different genres. Moving from song to song, they refreshingly dove into these different outlets.
They also blended nicely with some of the older songs. “Bright Green” saw Jillian Rae back onstage for another surge of energy. With family sitting in the crowd, “Strangers to the Northern Sea” was a touching moment, as Becky shared how the song was written based on a trip with her mother.
The set ended with “Better Me,” a strong statement of self love and improvement. Smiling and dancing together, Becky and Laura seemed to finally have a moment to soak in the evening and feel the accomplishment. Her band embraced the spotlight and shared the vibe. This visible enjoyment communicated a lot of just how much work goes into making an album. In an industry where we see less and less full-length albums, and more singles and EPs, theres a bigger mountain to climb in making music.
Coming back onstage for an encore performance of “One Breath,” Becky shared how the song was an older one, and was written for a specific wedding. She explained that it became more emotional to perform as the song transformed in meaning. They even mentioned that if you listen closely you may hear tears on the recording.
Becky’s father joined them onstage with a harmonica for the track. The next four minutes were absolutely silent, the song taking over the room. The wispy harmonica, lullaby harmonies, and tender sweet lyrics combined for an authentic goosebump moment.
Leaving a show like this is a solid reminder that the pursuit of passions is important. Everyone has dreams, and being motivated to work hard and chase them is a message that resonates with all of us. Celebrating the release of Low with the Twins of Franklin is a reminder that anything is possible. Putting your heart into it always makes for the most beautiful results.