Upstart musicians often grind it out at easily disposable day jobs to pay the bills when they’re not on tour. But Twinsmith treasure their day job—after all, it’s what got them signed to their first recording contract. The band’s members work at Slowdown, a novel art community that’s based in downtown Omaha, NE, but could operate as a small city of its own. The mixed-use venue features a concert venue, music studio, stores, restaurants and even apartments, and is owned by Saddle Creek Records. Saddle Creek—best known for issuing early releases by Conor Oberst, Rilo Kiley and the Faint—apparently treats its Slowdown employees pretty well. A label representative reached out to Twinsmith last summer, shortly after the indie-rockers launched their first tour, to see if they wanted to record a tour 7-inch. They did, and the result was
"We knew exactly what we were going to do before we went in to ask them if we wanted to record an album."
“Honestly,” which Saddle Creek released in November 2013. While the band had previously self-released a full-length shortly after forming roughly two years ago, lead guitarist/keyboardist Matt Regner says the Saddle Creek collaboration was, quite honestly, thrilling.
“We were super-pumped on the 7-inch, and we were just like, ‘Let’s see if they want to work with us [again],’” Regner says. “We knew exactly what we were going to do before we went in to ask them if we wanted to record an album.”
The plan? Record demos on the cheap at Slowdown’s music studio on Sundays, when no one else uses it. The demos were rough but, since they were tracked live, accurately represented Twinsmith’s concert sound. Brandon Darner and Luke Pettipoole of the Envy Corps, friends from Twinsmith predecessor Betsy Wells, liked the demos and agreed to record the band’s next full-length. Recorded last September, the full-length is part of a traditional indie-label contract in which Saddle Creek fronted Twinsmith the recording costs and both parties agreed to equally split profits after those costs are covered. Saddle Creek is planning to issue Twinsmith’s album in March or April, and if all goes well, they might agree to a second album, an option for which is provided in the contract. – Kurt Orzeck