In his 2011 novel, 1Q84, Japanese author Haruki Murakami attributes the line “I’m all alone, but I’m not lonely” to his female protagonist Aomame. Running with this notion, Chicago quintet Twin Peaks live out such solitude and solipsism on Down in Heaven. For all the love that hovers around Down in Heaven, as on the myopic “You Don’t” and “Stain”, a waltzing paean to following one’s muse, it’s most often out of reach. The jilted “Cold Lips” and its chorus of “You can live how you want / If you don’t mind living alone” stands as a loner fight song, while the smarmy “Holding Roses” exemplifies today’s “sorrynotsorry” attitude.
Like the music-referencing Murakami, Twin Peaks mine the experimentation, grit and swagger exerted by the Rolling Stones during the decade that began with Beggars Banquet and closed on Some Girls with the ramshackle jam “Butterfly”, the chunky “Keep It Together” — an amalgamation of Mick Taylor playing behind Lou Reed and the Velvets — and “Wanted You”, which incorporates Murakami’s surrealism when “A purple cat comes floating down the stairwell / With its blue eyes shining bright.” Replete with horns and keys, the spirit and contributions of Bobby Keys and Billy Preston to the Stones’ sound live on with Down in Heaven, an energetic and indebted collection of highbrow garage rock suitable for mass consumption.