New York dream-pop outfit Twin Sister turned all the right ears with its first two EPs, 2008’s Vampires With Dreaming Kids and last year’s Color Your Life. Those 10 songs of see-what-sticks experiments simmered with the vibrancy of a band finding its sound, but on the full-length In Heaven, Twin Sister appears to still be looking. While Twin Sister has always been more comfortable on the slower side of indie rock, the album is generally devoid of true dance grooves; most tracks fall between the down-tempo funk of “Gene Campi” and aimless chillwave. There are moments (like on the opener, “Daniel”) where the band’s cool electronic tones capture a mellowness that’s both urban and autumnal, and the preciously airy croon of vocalist Andrea Estella is often mesmerizing. “Stop” is a particularly pleasant track, driven by the catchy interplay of strings and Eastern instrumentation.
Most of In Heaven, however, lacks tension, build, or direction. The bits of freak folk, hip-hop, and punk rock that bubbled to the surface on the EPs have disappeared in a sea of gentle shoegaze; “Spain” and “Saturday Sunday” manage to feel repetitive and tedious in less than three minutes. With obvious technical ability and Estella’s vocal gifts, Twin Sister has an opportunity to stand out from the pack. But In Heaven suggests the band has become too comfortable too quickly.