Review by Taylor Kendal
We live in a world where anyone can create a podcast. In recent times they have become a godsend for distractions, passing time (especially during extensive lockdowns) and have given a platform to so many various types of media. They reign supreme and can be about pretty much anything. So…why not a podcast musical?
Created by up and coming podcast producer and musical writer Grace Valerie-Lynette, with music by Ben Holzwart and Tom Ward, comes Twinemies: A Podcast Musical. A queer teen rom-com musical podcast comprised of four 15 minute episodes that revolve around competitive twin sisters Chloe and Darcy in their final semester of high school. The podcast is a smaller story arc of a planned full musical; just a taste of the bigger picture and it is more than enough to get you hooked right from the start.
Twinemies was created with the support of the Community Broadcasting Foundation, and SYN Media; created, developed and recorded over in over three states over the past 2 years thanks to the Covid pandemic. But frankly, the execution of the performance is so seamlessly produced and flows so well, and a huge hats off is given to the recording and editing team for their work.
Without giving too much away, the plot focuses on Chloe and Darcy, two twin sisters who have been driven to such extensive lengths of hate for one another, that it has turned to war; which frankly causes chaos to all those around them. The end of their final year of high school is approaching and determined not to be defeated by the other, they devise a bet to see which of them can complete their bucket list of the most ‘iconic teen movie moments’ before the end of the school year.
It’s a rather intriguing concept, to review something completely aural and let your own mind conjure up the place and the people, but the performance has been so well crafted that it becomes easy to create this world where you find yourself invested right from the start. I will admit that it does take a short while to decipher whose voice is who, but it becomes far easier once you are focused on the direction of the story, and a second listening certainly does help if there is any confusion there. There is so much happening very quickly; thrown in without a great deal of context, and it can be a lot for one primary sense to take in at once, that I would suggest a second listening any way; not only because it’s an addictive story, but it gives you a chance to take in more and more of what’s going on.
Twinemies deals with a lot of the familiar pressures of teenage life, especially for LQBTQ+ teens; the expectations that are thrust upon you, growing up in the age of social media, dealing with popularity and how so many feel like they have to hide their true selves, in more ways than one, especially if it means being liked more for being what you’re not. The focus here was to create a happy LGBTQ+ focused love story that is filled with those sappy, cliché movie tropes that we all grew up with but some don’t want to admit we don’t want to be a part of.
The songs written for the musical are honest, quite beautifully haunting and at times painfully relatable, and have created a wonderful collection that pairs perfectly with the overall performance. Anybody who has grown up with a sibling immediately identifies with the first number in the performance
Though we cannot see them, the talented Twinemies cast have managed to create these characters and bring them to life through the all too real soundscape of high school drama. Their performances are engaging, familiar and leave you wanting to know more. I have a great deal of respect for those who can deliver such a performance using their voice alone, and the entire cast has done that effortlessly well.
Twinemies: A Podcast Musical streams officially Monday February 28 on any Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Audible. Check out their Instagram for more information! @twinemies_podcast