During lockdown in 2020, Sarah Dia Rue and Justin King jumped on the opportunity to join forces and disappear into Justin’s basement studio, re-emerging as the prophetic new project, TWIN SINES.
Twin Sines is an indie group of ethereal proportions. Known for her spellbinding vocal performances and biting neo-jazz keyboard style, front woman Sarah Dia Rue rises into her power right before our eyes and invites others to do the same. Justin King – who fronts Philly-based band Quiet Jack – played drums, recorded, mixed, and mastered their debut album, MAN DOWN, and has since stepped in the guitarist’s role for the stage. Justin’s live energy is captivating and brings a new level of masterful tone to the forefront of each Twin Sines show.
MAN DOWN is a massive sonic landscape written by Sarah Dia Rue and self produced by Justin King from his basement studio. The debut album channels both the crazed-mania and euphoria of an awakening. Through the experience of creating MAN DOWN, the duo fell in love and brings yet another level of their magnetic energy.
Keep on reading for our interview, and see where you can catch them live next month.
Congratulations on the release of your self-produced debut album! How does it feel to have accomplished such a feat?
Sarah Dia Rue: Thank you! Completing our first release feels surreal for many reasons. Releasing Man Down brought me to appreciate the personal challenges that inspired the album, versus feeling held back by those experiences. A lot was processed and let go; our live show celebrates that personal transformation. The experience also confirmed for me that making music is what I’m here to do. Every second of the process was fulfilling.
Justin King: Completing an original album is the most rewarding accomplishment I know. This particular album is special on so many levels, partially for Sarah and I as partners. We have individually overcome a number of hurdles to be able to work together in this capacity.
Seeing as you wrote and produced the entire album yourselves, would you give us a little insight into what that process was like?
Sarah Dia Rue: The process was emotional! We came out of the gate with a heavy album (at a heavy time during lockdown). I was processing so much of the past and present, so it was mental health mayhem at times. Today, I’m in a much more peaceful place. Getting Man Down out of my system contributed to that positive shift.
In terms of production, the game plan was to prioritize two things: 1) rehearsing the songs until we were performing them on “autopilot”, and 2) capturing the highest quality sound. Thanks to Justin’s attention to detail and the hundreds of hours put in on the front end, the music already sounded mixed and mastered before we added any post-production treatment.
Justin King: How much time do you have?! Jokes aside (and to Sarah’s point) – Yes, we take an organic approach that starts with ensuring the performance is excellent. In fact, our studio is arranged to simply capture sound without heavy emphasis on post-production. Our goal is always to capture beautiful sound and we take great pride in the musicianship that is necessary to do so.
Of the nine songs on the album, is there one in particular that is very special to you?
Sarah Dia Rue: Definitely. Track #9, “Next Life” is a special one for me. That song helped put me in touch with my power as a woman. I’ve been inspired by female artists that own their feminine energy on stage, and I look forward to embracing that vibe at World Cafe Live.
Justin King: Yes – track #4, “Emptyspace”. This entire experience was unique for me because I was playing the drums and not my primary instrument, guitar. This particular song was one that I connected to spiritually as a drummer, which was the first time having such an experience in that role. Additionally, if you ask me which of the songs I am most proud of in terms of the complete production process, it’s “Emptyspace”.
Where can we see you live next?
We’re playing a special multimedia album release show in Philly at World Cafe Live on 1/22/22 (tickets on sale now). This show kicks off Chapter 2 of Twin Sines. We’ve rearranged the entire album with a modern new sound that does justice to where we’re at currently. To celebrate this new perspective, we’ll be playing the album in reverse as “Man Up”. There are amazing artists from various mediums who are collaborating with us to create a performance art experience for this show, and we’re thrilled to be debuting new material from our second album, now in the works.