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Life and art both move in cycles.
While working on their second full-length album, the aptly titled Full Circle [NETTWERK], Twin Bandit grew personally and creatively amidst life’s unpredictable ebb and flow. Throughout that experience, the Vancouver-based duo—Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliot—progressed as songwriters and musicians, delicately expanding their sonic palette of folk, alternative, and country and opening up lyrically like never before.
“The concept of a full circle spoke to us,” admits Hannah. “When we started writing, Jamie and I were in not in very good places. Jamie was dealing with mental health issues. I was struggling with depression and the loss of family members and friends. There were a lot of funerals at the time. We sat down and made a decision to write music that’s positive and encouraging. When you focus on practicing positivity and gratitude, it can really change your outlook. Even though we began in a tough place, it was an exciting and beautiful experience. Everything came back around. We acknowledge that it will be difficult again down the road, but there’s always another day to keep trying.”
In order to assemble what would become the follow-up to 2015’s For You, the girls made a series of writing trips and, for the first time, invited other writers into their creative ecosystem. In Nashville, they co-wrote with Neil Mason [Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert]. Meanwhile, they decamped to Salt Springs Island and Jamaica where more songs were born. Simultaneously, the subject matter reflected the moment.
“We wrote every song on our first album in the same house together,” explains Hannah. “This was quite a different process, but it was really inspiring.”
“It was very different,” agrees Jamie. “On the first record, I was writing a lot of love songs. Not to discredit love songs, but we were in another headspace altogether. The lyrics on Full Circle address subjects like dealing with your own issues, growing, and maturing.”
That growth becomes evidenced on the first single “Everything Under The Sun.” A collaboration with Mason, the song begins with bright acoustic guitars punctuated by a subtle twang and gospel flare before building into an empowering and encouraging refrain, “You give me love, everything under the sun.”
“It’s a hopeful anthem,” Jamie continues.
“I was thinking, ‘What does it feel like to be at peace spiritually?’,” asks Hannah. “It feels great to be present, look around, and express gratitude for this world and your freedom. That was the vision.”
The second single “Gotta Make Sure” sees their voices entwine in a heavenly harmony over folk guitars. Hannah goes on, “It’s a song about making sure to give thanks for everything you have and reaching out to your loved ones to let them know you care. It’s a reminder that other people are going through hard times as well, and we all need to pull together and support one another.”
Elsewhere on the record, “Hard To Know” culminates on an unshakable hook following dreamy verses. “Little Big Lies” addresses the suicide of a friend with heartbreaking and poetic lyrics, while “To Stay” explores Jamie’s personal battles over hushed finger-picking.
“It was written in a pretty emotional time for me,” Jamie sighs. “It’s about committing to things that are really hard to stay committed to. It’s a bit of a love song, but it also deals with your everyday struggle of trying to get up in the morning, stay positive through the day, and commit yourself to living a good life.”
Full Circle represents the next chapter of a journey these two musicians began four years ago. Along the way, they racked up over 10 million Spotify streams and impacted popular platform playlists, including Acoustic Covers, Acoustic Spring, The Pulse of Americana, Happy Folk, and more. The world got to meet the girls on the critically acclaimed For You, which garnered praise from The Bluegrass Situation, Folk Alley, Exclaim! and many others. Between standout festival appearances and tours with The Paper Kites and Joshua Hyslop, they’ve performed to passionate crowds across Europe and North America.
As much as Full Circle lives up to its name, it also represents something of a new beginning for Twin Bandit.
“I like to think of music as a map of the soul,” Hannah leaves off. “When you’re lost, it can help to sort through the most painful and joyful experiences by creating. In rough times, music helps of course, but having Jamie in my life made the biggest difference. I’m thankful I have not only a creative counterpart, but a best friend who has become family to me.”