Bristol dream pop quartet Oslo Twins offer a story of sorcery and Greek mythology on ‘Circe’.

Newcomers Oslo Twins manage to convey the sentiments of feminine sublimity with undeniable class.

Words: Alexandra Dominica | Photo: Willow Shields

Probably one of the most exciting acts to come out of the jaws of 2021, Oslo Twins are an otherworldly compound of rich musical history. Coming to us with a myriad of influences ranging from new wave music (particularly the Fast Product / Postcard / Factory label releases) to Beach House, Portishead, Scandinavian electro (Susanne Sundfor, iamamiwhoami, I Break Horses, Anna von Hausswolf), Air, Lorde, FKA Twigs and the ‘Drive’ soundtrack. With such a plethora of inspirations, it almost sounds like Kate Bush and The Cure meeting electro, dreamy dance pop. To be sure, ‘Circe’  is the Wuthering Heights of 2021.

Madeiline Miller’s novel ‘Circe’ was a huge point of inspiration for the lyrics. In the words of the band: “We wanted to make a song that would get people moving, something full of rhythm while also keeping it atmospheric and romantic.” ‘Circe’ is often sidelined, voiceless and diminished in Homer’s Odyssey, however in Miller’s novel she is centre stage and given a voice. In Circe, vocalist Claudia sings “it’s time to light the fire…I see you…I see your story”, in her hauntingly beautiful, sublime and hymnlike voice.

Much like their previous single The Edge they retain that majestic and awe-inspiring depth, but this single has a far more rousing groove with guitars coming to the forefront alongside the 80s industrial synths. While producing the track, the band confirmed they were influenced by the sounds of Susanne Sundfør, Sharon van Etten, Cabaret Voltaire and Anna Calvi.

In the novel, Circe’s divine journey is detailed from dependence to defiance, as Miller dreamweaves the vicissitudes of Circe’s journey from a powerless daughter to a damned, vengeful but powerful witch. Circe then finds herself later a lonesome mother and finally a complete human being, breaking the myth of perfection of Gods and challenges their outer beauty – revealing their inner imperfections. The song too is an ode to sight, in seeing someone for their raw beauty – for who they really are behind the veil. As Circe had the power to reveal the true nature of a person, Oslo Twins manage to convey the sentiments of feminine sublimity with undeniable class, showing both compositional and vocal mastery of their craft.

Circe was produced with Seth Evans (black midi, HMLTD) in Hermitage Works Studios and will be released on 15th October 2021.The song will be accompanied by a music video, directed by Max McLachlan (see work here) and Claudia Vulliamy, which will be released on 29 October 2021.