Known as Bloom Twins, the two form the experimental pop duo with a particular darkness that so many angsty teens feel in the fibers of their soul. Their cult following comes after the release of their cover of Kish Mauve’s “Fahrenheit”—a stark blend of soft hymnal and dreamy synthpop scales—as well as a nod on MTV Iggy as Artist of the Week.
Their early musical influences are apparent: “Our sister is a classical cellist at The Kiev Conservatory, our mother sings and plays guitar, and our father plays the flute,” explains Sonya. The two were singing before they could talk.
The sisters also play muse to the fashion world, having modeled in Vogue Italia, Tank Magazine, Wonderland, and on the Pam Hogg runway show for London’s Fashion Week.
When they were offered travel to London to model, they accepted, but they had another motive: “After our manager spotted us doing a cover of ‘Rolling in the Deep’, she explained [that] Ukraine is small, and we have to go to London to really take music seriously, as it is the capital of music,” says Anna. Modeling, they go on to explain together, was how they made money to fund their music aspirations, as well as learn English, and soak up London’s art and culture like sponges. They were 16 at the time, living on their own. “I love my family but I love to be independent and to be free,” Sonya says. “Living in London is an amazing education.” Within a year, they completed their music school studies, became fluent in English, and toured the U.K. and Europe.
Currently, the twins are at work on their debut EP, to be released in early 2014. “Today we were working [on] a new cover…OneRepublic’s ‘Counting Stars.’ I don’t really like them but I like what we’re doing with the song,” says Anna. “I think we are growing as writers since we’ve been here. We write about us—our lives and our experiences. I start by playing chords or a simple melody on the keyboard and then we start building a harmony together.”
“And then I change it all,” Sonya cuts in. “We only stop arguing about it when we are both happy with the song.”
The songwriting began when they moved to London. “Two years ago, I couldn’t write a thing,” Sonya admits. “Now it just comes naturally and I think you have to keep learning and creating by making mistakes and working together. We both learn and make something that we are both happy with and that we want to share with everyone.”
The EP’s title—set to be named after the first track “She’s Not Me”—is very literal: Anna and Sonya, both wearing white shirts and drinking hot chocolates, point to each other and explain, “because she is not me, and it makes sense that the first song is about us, and how different we really are.” It’s not often you speak to twin musicians. Siblings in bands? Sure, pretty common. But twins are a rarity. “It doesn’t annoy us when people get confused, it has happened our entire lives. When we were young we used to play tricks on our teachers to confuse them but although we dress the same and say the same things we are really different and it is just because we are always together.”
Their differences become more apparent as they speak—Anna is the more controlled and feminine of the two, with shorter brown hair and a taste, apparently, for sweets. Sonya, Anna describes as “like a boy” and is “annoyed” by anything too girly. Is there anything to the twin phenomena? Anna answers, “It’s funny, sometimes we have the exact same dreams but I don’t feel the pain if she’s in pain or anything.”
Working with Ellen von Unworth, the twins were recently featured in Vogue Italia. The long love affair between fashion, music, and their muses is a world the two are only just experiencing, but I wonder if they see a future in working with the fashion world to create the tapestry of a Bloom Twins experience à la Florence Welch and Lady Gaga. “No, I think we are just musicians and we love to play music and learn music. I think modeling is different but it is fun and we like to wear designer clothes or collaborate with friends on a fashion film or artistic projects, but that is only natural. I think making fashion part of our music would feel forced.”
The two have been adopted into the realm of authenticity by their appreciation for obscure alternative bands. This year, the pair toured with ’90s indie band Eels, and they are currently working in their Wembley recording studio alongside The Verve’s frontman, Richard Ashcroft.
“We call our music ‘dark pop’ but we don’t really like pop music,” says Sonya. “When we were growing up, it was different. We liked alternative music; we didn’t like Britney Spears or anything like that. People say we’re [similar to] Lana Del Rey and Portishead, and that is cool. If we could collaborate with anyone it would be Radiohead. I love Radiohead and I could learn so much from them and make something beautiful.”
I ask for their opinions on over-sexualized imaging, and dumbing down musically for the price of fame. The subject, naturally, brings up Miley. “Miley Cyrus is amazing, but I’m not so sure about her music. What’s clever is that her manager must be so good because everyone is talking about her and listening to her music and buying her merchandise. So, she’s essentially the most famous pop star on the planet right now,” says Anna.
And them? Will the magazine images of blooming, symmetrical Lolitas get sexed up? “I don’t know about that. I don’t know where our music will go either. I just want it to be everywhere. We will probably change as we grow,” says Sonya. “We’re not going to turn into Miley Cyrus or anything. We just want people to listen to our songs and hope it speaks to them and is heard everywhere.”
The last show the Bloom Twins attended was Fleetwood Mac. Sonya recalls, “When we got to go backstage to meet everyone, Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks were there and [Mick] asked us to sing for them, so we did and he shook our hands and said how much he liked it, it was so amazing.”
And if that’s how Mick feels, well, who am I to keep you down?
Photographer: Roger Deckker at RogerDeckker.com. Stylist: Sam Ranger for serlinassociates.com. Hair: Noriko Takayama for untitledArtistsldn.com. Makeup: Michelle Campbell for saintlukeartists.com. Producer: Seona Taylor-Bell.
Beauty Notes: Power Berry Daily Moisture by Neal’s Yard Remedies and Crème de Rose Lip Balm by Dior.