Hollow Twin reflects on the past in their new EP, Soft Hearts

Vancouver’s dark folk duo describe the emotions behind their music

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Emmalee (left) and Becky (right) sit on or by fuzzy orange furniture, set in front of a brick fireplace and flanked by potted plants
Emmalee Watts (left) and Becky Wosk (right). Photo: Reagan Jade

By: Kimia Mansouri, SFU Student

Based in Metro Vancouver, Capricorn moon duo Emmalee Watts and Becky Wosk — aka Hollow Twin — just released their new album, Soft Hearts. In it, the harmony of the instruments and their connection to the vocals are as haunting as the lyrics themselves. 

While listening to Hollow Twin, I was reminded of Hozier, Florence and The Machine, and Aurora. You can expect a lot of acoustics, string instruments, and a kickass bass with Hollow Twin. Their sound is a comforting and calming sadness that cuddles and weighs you down. 

If I were to describe Hollow Twin as an animal, it would be the Thestral from Harry Potter. While only those who have witnessed death can see them, Thestrals are clever and gentle creatures. The darkness, depth, and spirituality of the band has the same energy. 

It’s clear Watts and Wosk have an extraordinary bond that brings out this energy. The duo explained their music is inspired by talks about spirituality, being old reincarnated souls, a connection to the universe, and their interaction with the paranormal. Going by the intention and ambiance of the music, the artists decide what feels right and let the creative process flow naturally. “It was really free-flowing also in the studio because we said ‘this is what we’re imagining in this space,’ and then Laura Reznek and Jonah Ocean, who are our string players, would just freestyle,” Wosk, Hollow Twin’s lyricist, said.

Wosk explained that Soft Hearts “is an ode to us being sensitive and empathic and trying to be vulnerable. Well, not even trying. Just being vulnerable humans, and allowing that vulnerable side to come out through our music and be demonstrated and displayed to an audience that hopefully can connect with that and know that they’re not alone in those feelings of vulnerability.”

Wosk confirmed most of Soft Hearts “was written during the pandemic, or just the beginning of the pandemic even, and so it’s a reflection of a lot of feelings and having time to actually sit and look back at a lot of things that have happened in my life and I kind of tried to make it into a story that is something other people can connect to.” Similarly, according to the band, “Mother,” “Young,” and “Lying” all explore an introspective, ethereal, and cerebral depth of vulnerability that takes you down memory lane.

While some people might think Hollow Twin’s music is sad, I think there’s a proper setting for it. Hollow Twin gets you to sit with your emotions and embrace the darkness as a form of meditation. “I want to make people to feel something,” Wosk said.

Alongside the new album, the band has a lot of new merchandise coming out — sweatshirts, T-shirts, stickers, and tote bags. The physical copy of the album is on CD and includes bonus songs “Bound by Blood” and “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Though they’re awaiting confirmation, fans can expect a full band show on April 14 if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.