If surrealist filmmaker David Lynch ever decides to make a movie with the master of horror, John Carpenter, Winnipeg’s dark synth pop duo Ghost Twin should write the soundtrack.
With phantasmal lyrics, pensive guitar, and pulsing synths, Ghost Twin’s sound stems from styles of industrial and baroque. Think of the reanimated corpse of composer George Frideric Handel performing in a dimly lit German goth club during the ‘80s.
Husband and wife Jaimz and Karen Asmundson formed Ghost Twin after Karen’s art pop noir band, Querkus, separated in 2013.
“After they broke up I could see that Karen was sad about not being in a band anymore,” Jaimz says. “I was doing a lot of film type stuff so I thought we could do some kind of live music video performance.”
The two took the name Ghost Twin from the German doppelganger myth, where a supernatural copy or “twin” of a person warns them about an upcoming sinister event.
Jaimz and Karen also collaborated on the satirical goth comedy short Goths! On The Bus!, which was created for the WNDX Film Festival in Winnipeg.
“We made a silly soundtrack for the film too,” Karen says. “I guess you could call it the first Ghost Twin song.”
Later this month, Ghost Twin is releasing its first full-length album, Plastic Heart, which deals with esoteric themes of the paranormal.
“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with ghosts ‘cause I lived in a haunted house,” Jaimz says. “My family moved to my grandmother’s house in the Manitoba country when I was four and that place was ridiculously haunted. So, I kind of grew up with ghosts and thought it was kind of normal.”
The dark wave sounds found within Ghost Twin’s music heavily reflect that obsession, especially on the upcoming album.
The title track “Plastic Heart,” about the heart-shaped planchette found on a ouija board, begins with an oscillating, repetitive synth bass and is immediately greeted with a liquid guitar riff and Karen’s wraithy vocals.
The album was recorded with prolific producer and electronic artist Maya Postepski, who is known for Toronto’s electro new wave band, Austra. Postepski also programmed drums on many of the songs.
“We called it the ‘studio womb,’” laughs Jaimz. “We didn’t really see many people during the two week recording process, it was only the four of us so it got a bit kooky. We started talking our own language and arguing about sounds.”
Karen explains that the studio is located within the Mennonite University in Winnipeg, and the band joked about recording occult music in the Mennonite Church of Canada.
Ghost Twin has a projecting visual element that compliments the duo’s live show, made up of multiple film clips that coincide with the specific feel of each song.
“Half the time we are playing the actual sound clips from the film and use it as a percussive element when we play live,” Karen says. “In some ways it’s video percussion.”
Fri., May 19 (9 pm)
Ghost Twin w/ Wychdoktor+Apollyon’s Visage and Double Eyelid
Mercury Room, $10 in advance