In Austin a few weeks ago, in a small theater in the back of a coffee shop, I caught a performance by Twigs & Yarn, the tender, quiet sound-collage duo of Texas’ Stephen Orsak and Lauren McMurray. Live, Orsak set up spare loops while McMurray played a toy keyboard or held a party favor up close to the mic and twirled it. They closed with “Yuurei,” meaning “ghost,” its bouncy drums and McMurray’s mostly nonsense, sing-song vocals a notable departure for the ambient-leaning pair—these would be very subtle pop elements if incorporated by another artist, but here they carry the weight of experimentation and evolution. The track, as well as Twigs & Yarn’s forthcoming Hungry Ghost, was mastered by turn-of-the-century glitch pioneer Shawn Hatfield aka Twerk.
Stream: Twigs & Yarn, “Yuurei”