Join Dragonette for a Whimsical and Relatable Journey Through Life’s Ups and Downs in “Twennies” Album
As you spend the next few weeks reflecting on what 2022 has meant to you, you’ll want to set Twennies, the latest album from Dragonette (Martina Sorbara), on in the background at some point. This 10-track project is full of electro-pop goodness, stemming from its contagious hooks to shimmery synth melodies, that will have you belting along to choruses as you prepare for the new year.
With a career spanning 15 years, Dragonette has lived multiple musical lifetimes. A Juno Award-winning artist and sought-after songwriter, she has scored chart-topping hits, collaborated with the world’s biggest DJs, released several albums, headlined shows around the world, supported the likes of Duran Duran, Ke$ha, Major Lazer, and Miike Snow, and played to thousands of fans at Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza. While she was raised on very different musical influences, primarily listening to folk and jazz and thinking that pop music had no merit, then the evolving sound that dances between pop, new wave, and dance, Sorbara brings all of the pieces of her musical journey into this latest project.
It’s a true hybrid of my original influences as a child and what I’ve learned along the way. It feels so representative of my musical journey. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of it.
Sorbara on “Twennies”
Opening with the sickly sweet soundscape of “Seasick,” Dragonette chooses to balance her sharp-tongued lyrics with bubbly tones that will have you singing along to the chorus before you realize what the words you’re singing actually mean. She continues a similar path with “Hysteria,” in which she also ties some o the lyrics from “Seasick” into her messaging. There’s a great deal of songwriting prowess that one can pick up in just these first two songs and, of course, it helps that they’re so catchy.
The energy shifts with previously released “New Suit,” which has a pop production that’s more staccato and reminiscent of the mid-2000’s. The lyrics point out that change is coming, which is reflected in the song title and larger idea of a new suit as well as the more upbeat atmosphere that makes this track dancefloor ready. “Twennies,” the album’s namesake, is equally dancefloor ready but has a sultrier sound that is elevated thanks to the synth embellishments that flutter between Dragonette’s still delicate vocals. Experimental synth design is plentiful in “T-Shirt.” With its more dreamy soundscape, you almost feel like you’re floating, only to be quickly grounded by “Winning.”
“Winning” leans more into the indie rock space with more pronounced instrumentals. The sound design is more raw than we’ve heard thus far and within the lyrics, we also hear Dragonette acknowledge how her distance from the previously mentioned relationship through the first half of the album has benefitted her. Even though we’re rooting for her at this point, we see how the other shoe drops with the following track. Both an introspective reflection into her own downfalls and an admittance to the comfort in tumultuous environments, “Stormy” is tender and vulnerable in a way that allows listeners a very intimate look at Dragonette’s inner mind.
As we reach the last few tracks of the album, we are treated to an acoustic break from the synth-pop production that has been plentiful so far with “This Is All You Get” before picking back up with a glistening “Good Intentions.” Similar to other tracks in the work, “Good Intentions” features a hyptonizing hook that will have you thinking about the song long after you’ve finished listening to it. Finally, we reach the outro track which is appropriately titled “Outie.” It brings us back to the shimmery soundscapes of the beginning of the album and a fun way to end the album. The desire to have a good time is mirrored in the delicate vocals against the plucky strums as well as the lyrics “Don’t threaten me with a good time.”
The arc of Twennies has been an interesting one that is surely relatable to many listeners. From an outwardly toxic relationship to recognizing the inner shortcomings of oneself to ultimately wanting to simply enjoy life, there are plentiful synth-pop melodies that will resonate with you beyond an initial play. Of course, these are all my interpretations of the tracks. You should give Twennies a listen and come to your own conclusions on what some of the lyrics mean.