George Lewis Jr. did not live the punk-rock-pop 80s NY scene because he was only born halfway through that decade… not even in the big apple or the States; and yet all his music pours the essence of most of the videos aired by the MTV during those years, essence of new wave and synthpop, a bit electronic, a bit folk…
Influences & chords he probably boozed from the radio and that new “rebel” music tv channel. Are Generation Y new-wavers an improved replica of Generation X musicians? in Twin Shadow’s case… not only that, but a new kind of indie success that gladly puts on stage something more than minimalistic & psychedelic pop synth rythms (even though he uses them shamelessly)… we’re were getting tired of that.
George Lewis Jr. was born in the Dominican Republic, son of a hairdresser and a “teacher who lived many lives”, he firstly lived in Florida and then finally escaped to NY (Brooklyn) where the conception of Forget took place… although way before that, George and his “Mad Man Films” band preferred to flirt with the black rock & afropunk in Allston around 2004. Seems like his passage & life in Berlin 3 years ago radically influenced his new swerve…but it wasn’t until Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) decided to introduce some of his subtle arrangements that Lewis’ alter ego Twin Shadow became widely popular.
And like those Jens Lekmans, or Jose Gonzalez …. Twin Shadow’s pop is fresh, clean, beautiful, dreamy and unfortunately sometimes bland. Not being entirely comparable to those two Northerner’s pop, George’s 80s influences are more than noticeable… on his videos, lyrics… a look to the past with some precise stitches of blurry melancholy (Tyrant Destroyed) and other catchy cheeky loving games (At my heels).
“It’s bedroom recorded music, but it’s been done with the same attention as many classic B-movies,” he says. “It’s not like a slapdash home video, though; it’s someone operating with very little at 100-percent of their ability.”
This is not the original soundtrack of his film as some point out…. it may well be what he had always dreamed off when being a kid… a living pop dream with a Morrissey voice singing dark but soft electro-pop… maybe what we all wanted to have lived if we were born to experience the first boom of the new wave. But we didn’t, so now we can experience a better, bulkier and hopefully lasting exercise of new memorabilia.
Forget has been released in North America on terrible records (Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor’s label) and it will be released here in Europe on 4AD on November 15th, this will be the 30 y.o. label’s latest addition to their always picturesque list of amazing artists … Efterklang, Deerhunter, Tindersticks…. however you’ll be able to purchase the album from October 19th through Rough Trade shop for £11. (listen to it first…)
Commenting on signing to 4AD, Twin Shadow says, “Four or five months ago I was watching Lost Highway with a beautiful Swedish girl, we both fell in love with This Mortal Coil’s cover of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’. I remember thinking, “Man I wish I had seen that band, I wish I had been around at that time, I feel like my record belongs in that family.” …Here I am joining that family, for which I couldn’t be happier.”
Over the last few weeks here in the UK everyone has been celebrating Twin Peak’s 20th anniversary… and if we all had been very modernists we could perfectly have substituted part of Julee Cruise’s Floating into the night with Twin Shadow’s “Forget”, another psychological supernatural mystery…. we obviously recommend.