Queer pop duo TWINKIDS has just released their new album Nobody Likes Me along with their single, “Hate Myself Around You.” Throughout the seven-track album, they touch upon introspective themes like self-esteem, self-love, and self-loathing. They worked on this album throughout 2020 when they had time to themselves during the lockdown. Looking deep within themselves during hard times, they were able to put these feelings and emotions into their new music.
Based in LA, the duo is made up of Tokyo-born singer-songwriter Jin Fukui and Floridian pianist-producer Matthew Young. They met at Oberlin College in Ohio and built a friendship over their shared love for electronic music. Together, they began writing and producing songs, eventually going on to performing them as well. Their first EP, Boys Love, which was named after and inspired by a gay romance manga, debuted in 2017, and included their hit single, “Overdressed.”
Their second EP Lizard House came out two years later, and the duo began solidifying what kind of music they’d like to be putting out there. Their sound has been compared to a nostalgic ‘80s-infused pop, while their lyrics touch upon anxiety, being vulnerable, and accepting yourself. That’s what they wanted their album to be about as well.
They tell EUPHORIA., “If you’re really going through it right now, if you have ever gone through it, we want you to know that you’re not alone! Put our album on when you’re feeling ugly, or lumpy, or socially awkward like everyone is and has it better than you.”
Talking about the album art, they explain, “We know a lot of people are wondering about the artwork. The album is a frame of mind — stuck in thinking that ‘nobody likes me.’ You ever have those moments when you look in the mirror and think, how could anyone ever love that? And then days, weeks, months later when you recover from those intrusive thoughts, you might look in the very same mirror, at the very same angle, at the very same person, and think…What was I so afraid of? That’s the cover art: what your mangled brain sees when you’re trapped in that mindset. Grotesque and absurd, outlandish even. And so far from the truth!”
The alt-pop-infused tracks all come together within this sonically cohesive album, however, we do need to discuss the final song. The final track is a cover of “Shetland Ni Hoho Wo Uzemete,” and it pays homage to J-Pop singer Mariya Takeuchi. This is the duo’s second cover of a J-Pop song, the first appearing on their EP Boys Love: “Love Story Wa Totsuzen Ni.”
“We like to think of it as more a transcription than a cover,” they say of “Shetland Ni Hoho Wo Uzemete.” “It’s us performing her version with our sounds, not reinventing the song because it didn’t need reinvention, to begin with. We reference that era so much in all of our music and wanted to include a direct thread between our sound and theirs.”
To give us the full perfect experience of their album, the duo emphasizes listening in order. They share, “You can cry while dancing to tracks one through five, dry your tears while dancing to track six, and dance as the credits roll to the world’s gayest, most self-deprecating yet hopeful movie during track seven. There is no power in thinking ‘nobody likes me.’ So many people do. How couldn’t they?!”