“I can appreciate Taylor Swift but I can also appreciate Slipknot,” says Conor Adams, one-half of the hotly-tipped Irish duo All Tvvins. “If something sounds super poppy we’re not going to write it off. It’s going to be a case of is it good and do we like it? At the same time if something is weirder and heavier than we normally do, we’ll go there if it sounds good.”
At essence, All Tvvins are a live indie-rock band underpinned by a maelstrom of synths, their collision of disparate influences results in a sound akin to a melting point of TV On The Radio’s art-pop twists with the leftfield psychedelic excursions of Animal Collective. Even just a snapshot of All Tvvins’ songbook demonstrates an admirable disregard for conventional genre boundaries.
Adams met All Tvvins partner Lar Kaye on the Dublin underground circuit some ten years ago when they were both teenagers. Adams and Kaye spoke of working together way back when, but it didn’t actually happen until the summer of 2013.
“Yeah, we should’ve got on that idea quicker,” deadpans Adams.
“After all,” adds Kaye, “we were pretty much doing the same thing in different bands.”
The opportunity finally presented itself when the duo found themselves with some downtime between tours. Within a week of jamming at Kaye’s house they knew they had something worth pursuing after they experimented with filtering Adams’ vocals through a vocoder pedal.
“Within an hour of that, we had a song that was the complete polar opposite to what we had been doing,” recalls Adams. “It was a super super pop song that could’ve been a Kylie tune. It felt so wrong but it felt so right. We’d never written this kind of stuff before.”
Enlivened by their progress, All Tvvins embarked upon a streak of activity which stretches to the present day. Both sonic experimentalists and multi-instrumentalists (Kaye was “renowned for being the best guitarist in Dublin”, says his bandmate who specialises in vocals and bass), the duo’s eight-hour sessions of writing and recording have resulted in over 40 demo tracks for their upcoming debut album.
“It’s not a job, it’s just what we do,” states Kaye. “Some days you walk in and nothing works out. But that’s ok. We’ll just come back tomorrow and start again.”
One song, for example, started out when Kaye sketched out a drum beat on his phone while killing time on a flight from Dublin to London. In the past, as with most such bands, they’ve faced their challenges – ranging from a complete lack of finance to the guaranteed unreliability of the touring van – but, they concur, it’s all a necessary part of the learning process.
Not that their dedication prevented suggestions that they should get a proper job. As Adams chuckles self-deprecatingly: “My mam won’t be happy until we’re on The Late Late Show.”
That said, All Tvvins have already achieved plenty for her to be proud of. They’ve opened for Arcade Fire and The Pixies at a gargantuan homecoming show at Dublin’s Marlay Park; earned the respect of new wave pioneers Blondie following a set at Electric Picnic; and played at the famous Olympia Theatre as guests to Editors.
And that’s all before their debut album has even been completed. Sessions for it are already well underway, with Jim Abbiss (Arcade Fire, Kasabian), Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar), Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age, Bombay Bicycle Club) and Matt Schwartz among those enlisted as All Tvvins’ partners in sound.
The aim they agree, citing the continuing evolution of Radiohead, is to create a legacy of albums – not just something that will be remembered as a fleeting flavour-of-the-month, but a body of work that will stand the test of time. “I particularly admire bands who were essentially live musicians, but who managed to translate that to a huge audience,” concludes Kaye with an ambitious glint in his eye. “I definitely wouldn’t mind having a bit of that.”