23 Sep 2023

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The Mitchell Twins - EP Review: Find a River

16 Jun 2023 // A review by Roger Bowie

The Mitchell Twins are Maegan and Nicola, with Nicola being the left one, if you can’t tell them apart. They have grown up in Gore as part of the Mitchell family, and now are following in the footsteps of big sister Jenny, with whom they have been seen over the past few years in a backing vocals capacity.

I’ve just come back from the Bayleys Tussock Country Music Festival, and the Mitchell twins were everywhere, from cameo performances with Jamie McDell and sister Jenny Mitchell, to opening for Fanny Lumsden, to competing in the finals of the Gold Guitars, as well as being on stage at the Country Music Awards night as one of three finalists for APRA song of the year.  It’s like a debutante year for the twins, and now they release their first album, an EP called Find a River, comprising four songs which were written and recorded over a couple of days in Auckland under the tutelage of one Tami Neilsen. Trouble is not going to find these girls!

The first song is Margaret’s Song, a sweet little story about an older relative’s struggle with dementia, and the first thing which comes to mind is that the Mitchell talent for storytelling is not confined to just one of the Mitchell daughters. There is a maturity about this song which belies the teen age of the writers. 

Of course, they have tutors and co-writers, and the next song Alone Again has the unmistakable touch of Tami and Nicola tells me of the fun they had in Marian Burns' basement figuring out all the reasons why a breakup can be a good thing. It’s bouncy, it’s irreverent, it’s tongue in cheek and it finishes suddenly.

Reasons continues down the rockabilly road with a raunchy riff from Chet O’Connell and a bouncy rhythm from Chip Matthews on bass and Tom Broome on drums. Foot tapping in the aisles.

And finally Find a River, a song for twins, inspired by The Topp Twins who dealt with separation by finding a river and a beach and dipping their toes in the water in telepathic synchronicity. A beautiful song with a Te Reo ending, which also reminds of the mihi which both Maegan and Nicola often use to introduce themselves, as young women from the tussock country.

This is both an astonishing and an easy debut: yes, they have influential friends, but nonetheless astonishing in its depth and maturity, and very, very easy on the ear.

Go see The Mitchell Twins in Kumeu on Saturday night.

And listen to their fabulous debut EP, Find a River.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About The Mitchell Twins

“Their harmonies matched beautifully, flowing in and out of each other’s lines like the finest woven material.” (Ambient Light).

The Mitchell Twins have a clear musical vision; a blend of folk/country music. Raised in a home full of Dolly Parton, Tom T Hall and Kacey Musgraves, Maegan and Nicola have spent years honing their blood harmonies. They've toured through Aotearoa and Australia, supporting and playing with artists including Nadia Reid, Barry Saunders, Delaney Davidson, The Topp Twins, Fanny Lumsden (AU), and their big sis; Jenny Mitchell. The title track of their debut EP Find a River was nominated for APRA Best Country Song and at Tussock Country Music Festival they came runner up in the NZ Gold Guitar Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Mitchell Twins


Find A River
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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