With their debut album, Ploy, Silvertwin has taken a step towards bringing retro sounds back into the mainstream.
Their record, out July 16, was recorded on tape then produced by Jonathan Rado, mixed by Cenzo Townshend, and mastered by Frank Arkwright at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Each of the artists who Silvertwin has worked with on the record has a firm grasp of what an authentic retro sound is. Moreover, they seem to know just how well they have done as Silvertwin referenced the sound by encouraging the listener to think “Paul McCartney produced by ELO.”
The title track ‘Ploy’ has a 1970’s pop-rock beat, completed by the tambourine. It’s a love song that begins the album’s theme: young love and all the emotions chained to the feelings. From ‘Ploy,’ the record turns into ‘Doubted.’ Inevitably, any record made in 2021 that has the intention of sounding nostalgic will never truly feel entirely that, as it is slightly tainted with modern influence. With this, however, the song sounds like something written for a movie set in the ’70s but made decades later.
‘Promises’ is the first ballad of the record. It fits well with the theme; after all, what’s an album filled with love songs without a moody ballad. ‘Saviour’ brings the overall mood back up with its Steve Miller Band meets ABBA sound. The song is the type of upbeat that makes for fun car rides with your friends. Finally, ‘The Night Is Ours’ and its cheesy lyrics carry Ploy on with a similar feeling. These two songs played back to back stand out as they create the perfect summer-time dance party energy.
‘I Don’t Want To Fight Anymore’ brings light to the fact that young love is not always all fun times. The sound reflects the feeling of a relationship that is nearing the end. The song’s lyrics tell a story of half of the couple, pointing out that while the relationship is not over yet, it takes a significant toll on both people in the relationship.
‘You Only’ feels like a filler; it sounds similar to many other songs on the record. It’s a love song that was presumably inspired by ABBA, The Beatles, Elton John, and a whole list of other 1970’s pop/rock artists. This is not to say the song is not good; it just melts into the tracks around it and is easy to ignore.
Track eight, ‘Love Me Hate Me,’ has the horn section of any good retro love song, and that is about all that stands out on the track. The lyrics are highly repetitive, more so than some of the other songs on Ploy.
‘Take Me On’ has an intro that sounds like ’90s country meets Boston, a combination of influence that sounds a bit questionable, but Silvertwin has made it work. ‘Take Me On’ continues this assumed inspiration throughout the song but leans more into the Boston side of the tune.
The final track, ‘Driving Me Wild,’ ends Ploy with a ballad. A good collection of love songs has to end on a dramatic note… it might as well be a requirement. Silvertwin should continue to sprinkle ballads into their albums as they continue to write.
Silvertwin’s Ploy holds an impressive modern-retro sound from start to finish. The band is clearly dedicated to a direction and will make strides in bringing the retro sound back to the mainstream. Especially for a debut album, Ploy has a clear path that the band should be proud of. Fans of ABBA, The Beatles, Elton John, Wings, and 1970’s pop-rock in general will enjoy this record.