PREMIERE: David Ramirez and the Bifurcation of “Twins”

The Mexican-American songwriter offers a timely lament.

There’s always a strange invisible dissonance buzzing between the way we imagine ourselves and what we see in the mirror. Paradoxically, that dissonance reveals something true about us to ourselves that we wouldn’t see otherwise. Sometimes these things are good—we discover that we’re able to trust another person’s assessment, or we learn that we’re more of an expert than we thought.

But such revelations seem to be rare. Far more often, the reflected light exposes some darkened crease, a shadowy part of ourselves that we’re otherwise unable to see. That’s the place that David Ramirez is interested in, though, like Nico, he’s an observer here. In “Twins,” it’s the United States being put before the light. “When the Towers fell, our country started waving flags and spoke of unity and patriotism,” he says. “But under the surface, we were filled with hate and fear, and instead of coming together, we locked our doors.”

It’s a message you’ve probably heard before, but as an American of Mexican descent, Ramirez delivers it from a particular angle. In a voice as honeyed as that of Ryan Adams, he couches his criticism in a spaced-out brand of folk that takes notes from the shuffling sadness of The War on Drugs (the band, not the policy, though you’d be forgiven the confusion) and Hiss Golden Messenger.

The video hammers at a similar separation. Comprised of ancient, grainy clips of soldiers being subjected to LSD tests, marching protestors, buck-passers, flexing fists, and a particularly psychedelic take on the Zapruder film, the video, in Ramirez’s words, “images from a time in our country that had been deemed innocent, but [it frames] them in a way that exposes our crude nature.”

You can check it out below.

“Twins” is taken from We’re Not Going Anywhere, which is out September 8 via Sweetworld.

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