We’re heading for the lilypads. We’re living a futurist frog jazz lifestyle. There’s nothing to be done about it but sway and smile. CC Sorensen is a wizard and on their most fully-realized work yet, Twin Mirror, a sanguine aquatic landscape billows into existence, swathed with the richest of details and imbued with a silken aural luxuriousness that has me floating through the weirdest corridors in my mind.
Sorensen’s skill at blending a combination of real and virtual instruments into a dreamlike mix. So much of Twin Mirror manages to emote intensely personal narratives and reflections in a potently ephemeral way. Opener “Alter Destiny” siphons pristine, rippling arpeggios through the lively croaks and calls of the pond. There’s a joyousness in the bright shades the synths emit, but just beneath is a crack in that smile. Sorensen wrote and recorded Twin Mirror over the last two years and the turmoil and uncertainty they went through saturate the foundational soil.
Acoustic guitar slop tiptoes through the dark woods while sodden horn blasts drip from the branches above as “Six Heart Snake” glissades through the mud. Lapsteel adds an air of mystery as the piece creeps along, but the anxiety permeating each obscured, heavily-effected vocal incantation channels this energy into ancient, forbidden rituals. It’s such a strange and creepy song that it hasn’t left the back of my mind in weeks. That same feeling returns on “Augmented Mirror,” though it’s covered in glitches and scratch marks that keep the rising drones at bay.
Abstract timbres jut off in every direction with a heartfelt lightness on the stunning “Joining You.” There’s a methodical underpinning to the arrangement, but Sorensen sounds as though they’re floating in a warm rainbow as their delicate vocals ask, “I would like to ask if I could start joining you?” Sweet perfume lilts skyward from the woozy horns and sublimated synths. Of all the songs on Twin Mirror, this is where I feel most at home, especially as bleeds into the midnight pond song of “Toad Vision.”
Twin Mirror is something truly special. I’m not sure frog jazz is really a thing, but if it were then it’s music that longs to be free from the shoreline and floating off into the cosmic frontier. Sorensen walks that line confidently, and on closer “South Plains,” as crying cello passages and resonating horns embrace the trauma the world rains upon us, they press on, eyes toward the constellations. Feeling worn down is unavoidable, but holding on to a sense of closeness with the ones that have been there and the others holding us together is the brightest path from the pond into the stars.