Built to Spill

Twin Falls

Composed by Built to Spill

Song Review by

Built to Spills' inspirational force, singer-guitarist Doug Martsch, displays a sharp talent for communicating the ultra-personal, turning a well-chosen phrase to capture those tender childhood memories, most especially on the touching ballad "Twin Falls." The short song from the group's excellent sophomore effort, There's Nothing Wrong With Love, pacts an emotional wallop, Martsch scattering juicy tidbits of reminiscence with his high aching timbre, backed by softly picked guitars and a delicate slow build of bass guitar and percussion.

Martsch, a native of Idaho, examines a lasting sentimental tug of one's earliest childhood memories, pondering the different roads taken while recalling an old friend with succinct, reveling phrases. A gentle, circular guitar chord provides the initial backing for Martsch's untreated vocals, plaintively delivered with a heartwarming directness as he croons in a slightly strained high octave, "Christmastime, Twin Falls, Idaho is her oldest memory/She was only two, it was the first time she felt blue/Cafeteria Harrison Elementary/Beneath a parachute I saw her without shoes." This single elongated verse gains a subtle momentum as a bass guitar adds tentative notes to a sparse thump of toms. Martsch continues the flow of ultra-personal revelations with little pause, the stream of remembrance unbroken as he recalls, "7-up I touched her thumb and she knew it was me/Although she couldn't see unless, of course, she peaked." The guitars begin to pulse, settling on a straight rhythm, dampened guitar notes chugging along with round bass notes coaxed by a steady tap of brushed snare picking up the new groove. Here, Martsch seems to jump forward in time, now considering the separate turns their respective lives have since taken, "My mom's good, she got me out of Twin Falls, Idaho/Before I got too old/You know how that goes/That's where she still was the summer she turned 17/In 1983, two weeks after me/Last I heard was she had twins or maybe it was three/Although I'll never see/That don't bother me." A brief guitar lick provides a perfect segue into the following track, the band launching into the slow anthem, "Some," the next track serving as a kind of companion piece.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
There's Nothing Wrong with Love 1994 Up 1:49