“I feel like [Psychic Twin], for me, represents a dream world that is real in my brain, and I think it’s real for a lot of other people too.”
- Erin Fein
erin fein of psychic twin performing at the bishop in bloomington, indiana
THE CONCEPTION OF PSYCHIC TWIN
Over six years ago, Erin Fein sat down to make a list of bands she loved. She thought back to being 9 or 10-years-old, and listed everything that brought her joy - things that had influenced her at a young age. What she ended with was an extensive lineup, ranging from Kate Bush and Annie Lennox to Bjork, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Tears for Fears, Janet Jackson, and even the soundtrack to “Neverending Story.”
“What I wanted to do was take this weirdo list and try to do it how I would do it,” she said. Erin ran with this idea, hoping to create something unique to her self, and Psychic Twin was born.
She had been playing music since a young age, writing what she described as “weird songs” on piano as long as she can remember. By the time she started Psychic Twin, she had gathered a collection of analog synthesizers that she knew she wanted to work with.
The name came second, after Erin began working on music and had noticed herself creating many layered vocal tracks where she was harmonizing with herself. She had a vision where she was in the room with a sort of clone or twin. She said she now thinks of the project as herself writing with an alter-ego.
Erin was living in the midwest when she started the project, but didn’t feel like she could find the inspiration she was truly looking for.
Erin said she wanted to meet new and interesting people to work with, and she decided that New York City would be the place to find them.
“I just said, ‘Fuck it,’ and I moved,” she said. “It was really the best decision. My life changed.”
rosana cabin of psychic twin
Erin moved to New York City with much of her first album already written.
“I really wanted the kind of intensity and electricity that you find in New York City,” Erin said. “I wanted to be pushed. And frankly I wanted to meet someone like Rosana - someone who would fit in this weird world that I had been working on for years before I moved.”
Rosana had moved back and forth between Florida and New York before meeting Erin. She studied at Berklee College of Music, but was disappointed when she wasn’t finding a music career in the city. It wasn’t until 7 years after graduating that Rosana met Erin and began playing music seriously again.
The two met after a mutual friend had passed away.
“Looking back, it’s pretty neat that out of something sad, we wound up forming the bond that we have today,” said Erin.
Rosana has been a part of Psychic Twin for nearly three years now.
“I really wanted the kind of intensity and electricity that you find in New York City. I wanted to be pushed. And frankly I wanted to meet someone like Rosana.”
Psychic Twin’s music already had an established direction by the time Erin moved to New York, but she said that the project didn’t feel complete until Rosana joined. Together, Erin and Rosana wrote the band’s first single and finished the debut album which was released in 2016.
“Erin’s sound doesn’t change,” said Rosana. In addition to drumming in Psychic Twin, Rosana also does almost all of the production and recording for the project. She said she cares passionately about the quality of the audio.
In working together, Rosana learned the appeal of analog sound that Erin had so long been in love with. Rosana said that she now works toward the marriage of analog and digital sound in their recordings.
From her collection of synths, Erin plays a Juno 106 and Casiotone 701.
“They’re both very old keyboards,” she said. “I honestly don’t know how they’re still working, but they are.”
Erin said she loves playing the Juno 106 because the sounds can be adjusted and modified a lot. She runs both her synthesizers and vocals through effects pedals. She also uses looping pedals for her vocals.
“I get to manipulate it a lot myself,” Erin said, enjoying that she can create her own realm of sounds through her equipment.
Rosana does much of the beat creation, mostly playing live at shows, but also using Protools to create extra layers that would otherwise require more people on stage.
For percussion, Rosana uses a SPD-SX sampling pad, 1970s Simmons drum triggers, a DW9000 pedal, and Vic Firth drumsticks. For the SPD-SX, Rosana and Erin have collected a personal library of sampled sounds from recordings and vintage synths. They don’t use any factory loaded sounds.
While Erin and Rosana make and record all the music on their own, they do like to have a producer take a final listen. They described it as adding a fresh ear to the mixing process, and value having a second opinion on their creations.
Since the release of their first record, the duo has been on multiple tours opening for bands such as STRFKR and Generationals. Erin and Rosana compared being the opening act to a sort of puzzle, saying they have to figure out how to “crack the code” of the audience.
“Anytime people are willing to go there with us and enter into the weird world we are trying to create, it’s an honor,” Erin said. Rosana said that even though touring can be exhausting, she still loves it.
Although Erin wrote most of the music for the first record on her own, she and Rosana plan to work together on their upcoming projects for Psychic Twin. Erin described Rosana as encompassing a physical representation of the twin from her original vision for the band.
“The fact that we’re so comfortable together - I think that’s going to bring something really special to the next recordings,” Erin said.
As their tour with Generationals has ended, Psychic Twin plans to head to the recording studio and see what “the greater muse” has to offer them.
BETHANY, ERIN, ROSANA, AND JESSIE IN BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA