Born Twins, the latest project from Austin natives Singer Mayberry and David Lujan, brings the scope of their long musical career into focus with well-crafted songs and finely honed musical skill. The duo has been performing in groups together since the early 2000’s. Both of their previous projects, Red Leaves and Bitter Birds toured the southwest United States extensively. Lujan, typically lead guitarist, plays both bass synthesizer and drums in Born Twins while Mayberry leads with guitar and vocals.
Born Twins, a namesake derived from the novel “A Scanner Darkly” by Phillip K. Dick, is an attempt for the two to move both forward and backward with their music. The novel’s main character Actor, is made aware of the fact that his mind has split in to two separate halves, both halves receiving information and processing it at the same time separately. “I just felt like that character sometimes, you know,” said Lujan. “I have to play the drums and the bass and the vocal all at the same time, but at the same time make it seem like I’m not thinking about it. Like it is second nature.” Born Twins songs, penned by Lujan, often lean toward darker narratives. This imagery can be seen throughout his musical career. ‘Frankie Machine’ the anchor track to Red Leaves’ full length LP ‘By Road or Rail’ depicts characters from a Nelson Algren novel, while ‘St. Charles’ from the same album was written about Charles Bukowski, both authors with notably dark overtones.
Born Twins however, takes the word play and lyrical description Lujan is known for as a given. The songs seem effortless and masterfully composed with Mayberry’s guitar floating over the top of the Silver Apples inspired drum lines and droning bass organ. Mayberry, a classically trained guitarist and daughter of Kurt Mayberry of the X-Streams, an Arizona based ska band from the 80’s, bestows the perfect counterpoint to Lujan’s Lo-Fi sensibilities. Their latest EP ‘Slow Dance’ features Mayberry singing lead on ‘A Few Hours After This,” a lesser-known Cure song from the mid 80’s. Indeed, it seems the band is pulling much of their influence from the deepest corners of that decade sounding more like the DEVO basement tapes than Motley Crue and big hair. “Punk music from the late 70’s and 80’s has always been a huge influence,” says Mayberry. “My parents had a club in Tempe Arizona where bands would play. I would fall asleep in the ‘office’ of the club while No Doubt and Nirvana were playing on the other side of the wall.” This obviously influenced her love of music and gave her the ease and comfort on stage that she exhibits while performing.