The past two years have been full of ups and down for Sean Raasch. The singer and founding member of Twin Brother expanded his longtime trio into a full-fledged six-piece band and put out the excellent Alone In Austin EP in September 2017. That December, Raasch announced the band was no more. Fortunately, the sudden end of Twin Brother didn’t last long, as the bandleader decided he wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the name and the project he’d put the better part of a decade into building.
Last February, Raasch formally released Rightfully So, the singer-songwriter’s solo take on Twin Brother. Following a select few shows he played in support of the stripped-down and self-recorded release, Raasch made the decision last year to take an indefinite hiatus from performing as Twin Brother. As it turns out, that break didn’t extend to songwriting. During a period in which he got married, focused on his career, and made positive personal changes, Raasch didn’t stop writing, recording, and re-imagining the malleable musical endeavor’s next iteration.
On March 1, Raasch will release his next Twin Brother record. Like its predecessor, the 10-song A.I. features the founding member in a (mostly) solo capacity. Unlike Rightfully So, however, A.I. finds Raasch—as the album’s name suggests—putting some electronic touches and production savvy on his heartfelt compositions. Man and machine come together right away in the record’s eponymous prelude, and persists in the dour second song, “Our Vision.” Other than some drum assistance from Michael Stewart and Luke Rivard on some songs, along with horn accompaniment by Andrew Eshbaugh on two tracks, Raasch takes the lead and goes it alone in this latest rendition of the project—playing virtually every instrument and even singing his own background vocals on the record.
Through the years, he’s learned to take control of his material by teaching himself how to record and mix his songs. Similarly, he’s learned, grown, and developed as a person. “Echo” seems to reference his experience falling in love, getting married, and putting his trust into someone else. “Look In Her Eyes” is a rally cry and an ode to strong women who are mistreated by men everywhere. It’s also an acknowledgement of Raasch’s own past faults in regard to not giving women the respect and voice they deserve.
From beginning to end, the new-look and new-sound version of Twin Brother is the project’s strongest, most triumphant, and most confident release yet. Before its released digitally on Friday, you can listen to A.I. in its entirety below.