Hangman with Psychic Twin
BY BRENDAN SCULLY
Illustrations by Peter Hopkins
BROOKLYN - On a crinkled white napkin, the word D-U-A-L-I-T-Y is written in black ink and rests underneath a partially finished sketch of a game of“hangman.” Sitting in a small booth at Greenpoint’s Sunset Diner, Erin Fein takes a picture of her artwork, and smiles. “Duality,” Fein says. “It’s the word that describes the theme of Psychic Twin.”
Erin Fein is the composer, voice, and image of Psychic Twin, a self-described “psychedelic electro-pop” duo based in Brooklyn. Fein is preparing to embark on the biggest tour of her career; she and drummer/sound engineer Rosana Caban are joining indie-electronica heavy hitters STRFKR and Gigamesh on a 15 city tour across the United States and Canada.
Duality - the ability for two separate concepts to be present at once - is a fitting way to describe Psychic Twin.
Psychic Twin’s debut album, “Strange Diary,” arrives at the heels of painful turning events in Fein’s life. Originally from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Fein relocated to Brooklyn over three years ago after going through a divorce. “I was very depressed, kind of coming to terms that my life wasn’t going to go in a certain direction,” Fein said. “And although it was very difficult, I did have the opportunity to start over.”
Fein’s new start in Brooklyn led to the creation of Strange Diary; her catharsis of the life she left behind. Psychic Twin’s music is melodic and synth heavy (she currently has 12 different keyboards at her apartment), and is layered amid romantic, dreamy lyrics.
Fein cracked a grin when I mentioned that her music reminded me of Netflix’s television show, “Stranger Things,” an ode to the era of 1980s science-fiction entertainment.
“Oh, I totally see the comparison,” Fein said “… [‘80s nostalgia] is the root of my inspiration for Psychic Twin. 100%. I grew up as a little girl in the 80’s. All of my heroes come from that era.”
The duality of Psychic Twin is even seen on stage. Fein’s humble and gentle presence takes on a new approach during performances. “I dress differently for Psychic Twin. I feel like I’m playing a bit of a character. I like to feel like there’s some element of fantasy, another version of myself so I want to look a little bit other-worldly,” Fein said with a smile.
After the tour’s conclusion in December, Fein has a few things to take care of. One is to follow her passion of music scoring, a hero to her is Danny Elfman (Nightmare before Christmas, Batman, Edward Scissorhands).
At the moment, however, Fein is looking forward to spreading Psychic Twin’s sound to its biggest audience yet.
“If I have anything that I’m hopeful for, it’s just that people will hear about ['Strange Diary'] and be able to listen to it,” Fein said. “It’s incredibly meaningful to have made something and have people actually interact with it. If the more of that happens, the more excited I’ll be.”
“It’s not an easy thing to do to write a record. It’s a release, a new chapter in my life can begin now… I’m excited for people to hear it.”
Psychic Twin’s music, in addition to information on upcoming shows, can be found on Polyvinyl Records website.