Illusion- Two Souls
The music of Kirksville, Missouri native, Demi J. Haynes of Two Souls, (formerly known as Druun) floats lightly on the ears yet heavily on the soul. It shifts and sways like a curtain blowing idly in the wind of an open window, yet the words behind Hayne’s work could hardly conjure such a simple picture. On her first full-length album, Illusions, Hayne’s bedroom style shoegaze comes full circle, blossoming serenely into an even more deliciously lonesome state of heartbreak and romantic denial. The end result is the sonic equivalent of floating off into the coolest, darkest depths of outer space with only the light of the stars keeping company.
I reviewed Hayne’s music earlier this year and was very impressed but what has conspired here on Illusions is a much more concise and poised compilation. “Childhood” opens up the album with a mournful yet tranquil lullaby that is reminiscent of Grizzly Bear’s shadowy Yellow House. It’s nuanced, slow, but overall more ghostly than any previous work. A fourth of the way through the track does Hayne’s voice break the foggy atmospherics with a faint cry, “Sleepyhead/ Grab my hand,” sighs Haynes, “We’re going back home/ To the childhood we’ve known.”
“You’re A Drug” drifts and billows into earshot like a rainstorm. Hayne’s voice, though light and ambling amongst the rustling guitar and atmospheric synths, suggests a sneer rather than a stated fact. “I’ll see you someday /After you’re away,” laments Haynes, “I love your touch/ But I think you’re a drug.” Such a verse would sound welcome in the chorus of a bratty post-punk anthem but in Hayne’s ensemble, with its acoustic guitar wash and droning organ, permits a performance with much more meaning to her words and grief.
I will be honest though, one will need a lyric book to follow along with some of Hayne’s words on a few songs but in a sense this aloofness only builds to the persona of Two Souls. Titled Illusion, the album’s performance squarely matches this connotation. Ethereal, moody and mirage-like, the sound of Two Souls coolly washes over the listener without uttering anything more than a crooned murmur. In this sense Haynes validates herself; human emotion, depression, sadness, and the loveless valleys of our lives, are things never meant to be shouted to the rooftops. Sometimes to make a grandiose statement one only needs a whisper. Two Souls wields this elegantly.