Twinsleep’s debut is a marvel of ambient music, with gorgeous compositions that achieve pure weightlessness while possessing a grounded sense of purpose. John Hayes and Maxy Dutcher’s second collaboration together – first under the moniker Twinsleep — is impressionistic in all the right ways, every swell and swoon conjuring naturalistic imagery and a distinct sense of mood. A commonly held misconception about ambient music is that it’s background music to put on when you don’t want to listen too closely—but zoom in and Twinsleep is teeming with detail amidst its opalescent drones and hovering melodies, an impressive achievement from an inspired creative pairing.
The Twinsleep project follows Hayes and Dutcher’s stunning 2020 release Borealis and marks the latest evolution in their individual careers as well as creative partnership. Both musicians’ careers thus far have contained noticeable parallels—early beginnings in music that followed in rejecting formal teaching, artistic exploration brought upon by adversity, a gear-focused love of making electronic music—which made their initial collision even more serendipitous. After discovering Dutcher’s work thanks to an editorial campaign, Hayes asked him for a remix of “Marin,” from his 2018 album By the Woods, and the pair quickly struck up a collaborative friendship. “As soon as I saw his page and heard his stuff, I was like, ‘Whoa, this dude’s awesome,’” Dutcher recalls. “Our relationship snowballed from there.”