SINGLE REVIEW: Twist Helix – ‘Frida Kahlo’


I’ve been, and it’s not something I broadcast from the rooftops, carrying a torch for Twist Helix for some time now. Their synth based, full of many influences, music is always impressive. But this, this is something else.

My helpful friend describes this track as ‘simply insane but hugely compelling and incredible’ I’m not sure I’d go along with the ‘simply insane’ – I think I’d describe it as extremely eccentric – but I’m with her on the ‘hugely compelling and incredible’.

Musically this thing has sounds of Aqua, dare I mention it Toyah, weird synth based art-rock. Synths swirl and whirl, I found myself wanting to go bat-shit crazy dancing. And then it goes all 80s’ electronica, sounding of all things like a mad OMD, and sometimes New Wave.

And over this Bea sings and kind of raps in both English and Spanish. Perhaps I am getting closer to describing this as simply insane. But hey people this song is actually about something, if you listen to the words you’ll start to get it but perhaps, unless you know about her, not get the Frida Kahlo reference. The band explain:

‘Frida Kahlo’ is a song about identity. How in an online world we self fashion an image
of ourselves by referencing popular culture and art, telling people what we like, who we
follow, what we wish to be, in a manner akin to the tradition of self-portraits. Named for
the Mexican visual artist Frida Kahlo (an artist renowned for her challenging self-portraits), the track is not so much about Frida herself but how the mass consumption of images deviates from a true understanding of the self in favour of the popular, current, now’

Now go back and listen to it again and actually listen to the words. Are you getting it now?

‘Frida Kahlo’ is therefore a track that works on two levels. One a track that you go crazy to, a mad blast of many influenced music that’s incredibly catchy and danceable. And two, a song about something, a song that takes on a subject and lyrically has a take on it that comes from left-field.

So it’s strange, yes, but it’s hugely compelling. My torch is burning extra bright right now. This is joy.

The info

Newcastle’s Twist Helix have been flexing their studio muscles as of late, as they pave the way for their upcoming 2020 album, ‘Machinery’.

They kickstarted their 2020 by introducing their next LP with the single ‘Louder,’ an atmospheric synth-pop triumph that laid down the tone for the rest of the record.

Since bursting onto the scene 4 years ago, Bea Garcia (Synth, vocals), James Walker (Drums) And Matthew Barron (Bass) are renowned for their idiosyncratic mix of electronica and Indie which blends dramatic synths with uplifting pop hooks and a soft Iberian lilt.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.