with Kai Orion

Songbyrd Presents
Upstairs, All Ages

DOORS: 8:00 PM // SHOW: 8:30 PM


Monday December 10, 2018


Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge

D: 8:00 // S: 8:30 PM


Toronto's Twist, a year removed from the release of their well-received debut LP, Spectral, are announcing a new EP today and sharing it's title track, "Benefits," with THE FADER. The album was in some ways a transitional release for the band, being recorded at a time when Twist was evolving from songwriter Laura Hermiston's solo work with producer Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck and various other collaborators, into a full time band, and Benefits captures them at the culmination of that transition.

The EP, due out on Buzz Records on September 22nd, is comprised of a collection of songs that were honed while the band were touring in support of Spectral, playing around North America with artists like Chastity Belt, Half Waif, Dilly Dally, TOPS, Oh Sees and Jimmy Eat World. Its 4 tracks bear the marks of that experience, displaying a newfound focus and confidence, and a cohesive sonic direction, as Hermiston's bandmates find new ways to augment the sharp pop sensibility that underpins her songwriting.

Their development is evident on the EP's first single and title track, on which Hermiston's reflections on the struggle to maintain financial stability in a world that's hostile to her desires and ambitions, are buoyed by a melodic bass line that exchanges leads with a shifting series of chiming guitar parts. Producer Michael Butler (aka Beta Frontiers) who recently worked on a pair of singles for Twist's label mates PONY, creates space for the layers of melody and helps to fine-tune the band's nostalgia-tinged jangle pop sound, which here falls somewhere between the early Shins releases and Wish-era Cure. It's a self-assured step forward for the band, and one that finds an emotional resonance in its defiant stance toward societal pressures and expectations, as Hermiston tells FADER:

"The song is about the American Dream in a sense, and the struggle to obtain financial stability," she says. "It’s easy to get in a routine where you work hard and struggle to make ends meet but lose sight of what you are working towards. Have you taken a moment to look at the big picture and reassess what you are doing? Maybe the plans you had 5 or 10 years ago have been forgotten or pushed aside, or maybe things occurred in your life that forced you to change your goals."

Choosing to work in a creative field often means forfeiting stability. Working contract to contract, or being replaced, maybe by a less experienced cheaper option. Chances are the industry you work in is different from your parent's time and maybe their ideas of how to achieve stability are outdated solutions. I’m not here to complain, but I wanted to write about something that is a real life struggle."


Kai Orion is an experimental-pop artist from D.C. Orion's career began in 2014, when he won a cover contest held by indie rock band The National for his cover of their song "I Need My Girl," using household objects as instruments. Since then, he's earned a reputation for blending experimental sounds with heartfelt songwriting, drawing comparisons to the likes of Peter Gabriel and Tom Waits. Orion's debut album "Pots & Pans" was called "without question, the most ambitious record of 2015" by the Frederick News Post. Orion has spent the past two years developing his eclectic live show at venues throughout the East Coast, performing both as a solo loop-pedal act and with a live band. In June 2018, Orion released a new single "Cntrl," and announced his upcoming second album.