Touching on issues of bullying, isolation, escapism and fear, UK-based singer-songwriter Nell Davies tells the heart-breaking tale of the Silent Twins. A set of identical twin sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons, the story of the Silent Twins is an interesting, intriguing tale that no one wants to live through. Using music as her expression, Nell weaves the tapestry of this unique case, for lack of a better word. But who is Nell Davies?
Featured on The Other Side Reviews, BBC Introducing and She Makes Music, Nell began writing songs in 2020. Known for her bittersweet sonic take on life she explores toxic adolescent infatuation in her single ‘The Ballad of Kurt and Courtney’, and now the Silent Twins in ‘Another Face’. Transitioning from punk-rock arrangements to post-punk meets indie-rock melodies, Nell showcases her versatility as an artist. Moreover, the incorporation of almost spoken word vocal execution adds a light-hearted storytelling style, despite the melancholic content.
Self-produced and recorded in her “home studio”, also known as a converted pigsty in Cornwall, ‘Another Face’ has a haunting etherealness that enhances the despair in the tale of June and Jennifer Gibbons. The combination of dynamic guitars and pounding drums create an ethereal background but there is a hint of heavier indie-rock adding an edginess to the melody. What I find particularly intriguing about the tune is the palpable emotion oozing from the psychedelic sound – it’s as if you are being wrapped in an otherworldly bubble and made to feel the music rather than listen to it.
As I mentioned, the spoken word execution adds an obscure storytelling vibe to the song, but in ‘Another Face’ it adds another element. The hushed vocals not only tell you about the Silent Twins and their dark relationship but enhance the poignancy of the material. Nell leads you through the mind of these sisters who were subjected to bullying, lived in a fantasy world, fell into a world of self-destruction and ended up in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital with ease and polish. The ending is even more haunting as we hear how they decided one of them must die for the other to go on living. Jennifer died.
Intriguing, unique and hypnotic, ‘Another Face’ will give you chills every time you hear it. I loved ‘The Ballad of Kurt and Courtney” and adore ‘Another Face’; I can’t wait for more from Nell Davies.