PREMIERE: TWINKIDS Drop New Single “I Luv You”

The new track is the second release off the queer music duo’s forthcoming sophomore EP “Lizard House.”

TWINKIDS, the LA-based synth-duo, comprised of Tokyo-born Gene Fukui and Floridian Matt Young,  just released their latest single I Luv You. The heartbreak anthem is the second single off their forthcoming sophomore EP Lizard House. In the track, complete with memorable, sweeping melodies, full-bodied soundscapes, and echoing percussion patterns, the duo, who spent much of last year touring with Matt & Kim, explores the complicated emotions that arise when you see an ex-lover with their new partner for the first time.

I Luv You is about the time I saw someone I used to love with someone else. Maybe I still loved him, I don’t know,” said Gene. “After that breakup, I had found myself not knowing how to fill my time because so much of my time had been spent with my partner. To fill that void, I rushed into friendships with people who felt too cool and weren’t quite right for me. But at least I felt like I was moving on. And then I saw my ex with someone, and it all came crashing down.”

Been there, hated that.

Trust us when we say you need to add this melancholy bop to your fall playlist. Cuffing season is upon us, it’s time to get into your feelings, people.

V spoke with Gene and Matt ahead of their latest release to learn more about their origin story and what it means to them to be an openly queer music duo.

For those who are unfamiliar, how would you describe TWINKIDS? What’s your vibe and aesthetic?

It’s like… you get dropped into a video game, with a big creamy sky and maybe a few moons, and there’s not really anybody around but in the distance there’s this big bright gay club that’s pulsing to the beat of some faraway music, and as you get closer you start to dance, and you get inside, you’re still the only one around, it’s dark with just a few neon lights zooming around, and you realize it’s the goal of the video game to dance in this club, so you keep dancing, and you’re like wait I’m all alone…then you remember your ex and that your heart is broken, it has always been broken, and it will always be broken, but also it’s fun and funny and fine. And then you win the game.

How did the two of you first come to work together?

We always say we just met in college but…. the truth is that we met in an acapella group in college. We’ve never said this before. This is an exclusive story. It is highly embarrassing.

Is there a new album on the way?

Our new EP, Lizard House is out on 11/22! We’re so excited. It’s a mix of some fun and sad electronic 80s J-Pop/Robyn-inspired tunes. There’s also this 7-minute track that’s definitely the “weirdest” we’ve done… we’re really excited (and nervous) to see if people will be into it. Probably high people exclusively.

What does it mean to you to be an openly queer music duo?

Matt: We’re really lucky to be in a time where there’s an explosion of openly queer artists, across genres too. When Troye Sivan came out in the flower gown in the “Bloom” video, I was like, “This is a straight-up pop song and we’re finally ready for this!” People might hear this song on the radio and then stumble upon this video, and then be indoctrinated into this world of queerness.

It feels like queer artists are not only making music about their queerness, which, I love art by queers for queers about being queer, but there’s also this feeling that we can make what we want, whether or not it’s a “statement.” [The art] could just be about the same heartbreak, whatever classic songwriting material straight people have been writing about since the beginning of time, and people will take it and say, “I love it!” instead of just, “Jesus Christ it’s a boy singing about a boy!” I think it’s a good example of this is when t.A.T.u. had their song All The Things She Said. Everyone at school was running around saying, “Ew! It’s a girl singing to a girl! All the “he’s” are replaced with “she’s”!!!!”

I think we’re at a very different place now. It’s really amazing to be a part of this movement and to feel liberated to celebrate our identity in our music. We can also just write what we want and exist in our identity at the same time. I also know there are a lot of parts of the country where people would still listen to t.A.T.u. and say, “Ew!” but I think about that kid who’s like, “I don’t think this is that weird.” I think there’s the internet and a wealth of unashamed queer artists that really weren’t there when I was that age, which is pretty damn amazing.

What are your hopes for LGBTQ representation in music/the arts?

Matt: I think there are some outdated narratives we can retire… For example, I watched this British movie called God’s Own Country recently, it was some bullshit masc4masc concept about this guy who worked on a farm and then this hot ripped man came in as an extra hand on the farm, and they would fuck in this big green pasture and in a barn and admire each other’s masculinity. Sorry, but I’m tired of that. Most of us don’t look like that, and nobody needs to be fed that masculine fantasy fuckery. So my answer is… less of that!

Which musicians, queer or otherwise, have impacted you both the most?

Gene: Oda Kazumasa, Yumi Arai – these are Japanese musicians that were iconic in the 80s that really inspired me and formed my musical tastes. I don’t think our music always sounds like them, but they’re always in there somehow.

Matt: Those J-pop artists have become really big for me too, but I always go back to Björk and Imogen Heap. Björk is just an icon in every way, and those productions were some of the first ones I heard that really slayed me. As for Imogen Heap, whenever I’m stuck I listen to the instrumentals from her album Speak for Yourself. It’s a masterclass every time, I think anyone who knows her music can hear how much her production style has shaped what I do on mine and Gene’s tracks.

Who would be your dream collaboration?

Matt: This is very niche, but I’m a huge fan of the mixing engineer David Wrench. A few years back before we had released any music, I was obsessed with these 3 indie royalty albums – FKA twigs’ LP1, In Colour by Jamie xx, and Our Love by Caribou. I’d been wondering, what is mixing? (lol!) Like, at its core what are we doing? Honestly, I’m still asking that question. But I had these epiphany moments with each album… it was all so daring, and the gestures were so big but I bought all of it, for all 3 albums, front to back. Then I started googling and Wrench mixed all 3 albums. And then I did more research, and he was mixing so many songs I’d listened to and thought, “Wow I love this mix.” That’s the dream collab. I literally dream of being in the room while he mixes our music.

What’s your favorite show that you’ve ever played?

Hands down this would be the Palladium in LA with Matt & Kim. Matt & Kim were nice enough to take us on tour with them last year, and it was such an amazing ride. One of our last shows was back home in LA, and it was so incredible to play at a venue we had seen our idols perform at. It was wild!

What’s your most memorable show moment?

Gene: With Matt & Kim again, they asked us to open for them in Aspen. Maybe it was the altitude, but I ate shit on the last moment of the last song. I tripped on the edge of Matt & Kim’s set and fell straight on to my ass. It was so, so painful. The audience was nice about it though.

Matt: Mine was on the Matt & Kim tour when we were in Charlottesville, VA at this beautiful venue. We played our song Ponte Vedra and suddenly my keys stopped making sound. I looked over at Gene and he was like… SOS. And there’s only beats, and I had this synth solo instrumental part coming up in like 16 counts. I literally screamed out loud on stage. And then some superhuman force came through me and I unplugged and replugged the synth, and started the synth solo… and magically it worked and everything was fine. But it was truly terrifying. It definitely shaved 1-2 years off my life.

Check out the new track premiering exclusively on V below.

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