Paste (magazine) - "On her debut album, STRANGE DIARY, Fein mixes effervescence melodies with frigid tinges of gothic pop, making for an album as ice cold as it is chilling."
Audio Mixer: Jacob Portrait.
Psychic Twin's Erin Fein wrote the songs on her debut full-length, Strange Diary, over a four-year period, during which she went through a divorce, moved from her native Illinois to Brooklyn, and switched musical collaborators several times. Given all of her major life changes, the album is remarkably cohesive, with most of its tracks being catchy, uptempo synth pop tunes with lush synthesizers and fluttering vocals that equally channel Kate Bush and '80s-era Annie Lennox. The songs are dreamy, propulsive, and slightly chilling, particularly due to the ghostly, subliminal backup vocals. Lyrically, she's torn apart by her emotions, bluntly expressing her emotional conflict on the brief, slightly Andy Stott-sounding opener, "Heart Divided." Throughout the album, she's constantly running away, returning, chasing, and losing herself, and it's unsure what her final decision is (she ends the album repeating "I will stay" before twisting the words into "Will I stay?"). What is certain, however, is her knack for writing exceptional melodies. Songs like "Strangers" and "Stop in Time" immediately sound familiar but not derivative, and "Lose Myself" (which ends with an echo-shrouded repetition of the words "get over you") feels like an instant hit. The album ends with "The Deepest Part," which has a bit more of a live band sound than the preceding eight songs, as it contains post-punk bass guitar, shaker-heavy percussion, and disco handclaps along with its chugging synthesizers. Strange Diary is an instantly appealing debut album that distills several years' worth of ups and downs into a set of sharp, affectionate tunes. ~ Paul Simpson