Transported, though it may seem, to a grand and lush dreamlike landscape is the tone set by Brooklyn daydream magician, George Lewis Jr. also known as the artist, Twin Shadow. In 2010, Twin Shadow released his debut album, Forget, and has not stopped gaining creative prowess among the indie pop crowd since. His new album, Confess was recorded in LA and was released on July 10th via 4AD records. Although unfortunate, George Lewis Jr. received much of the inspiration for processing and writing Confess following a motorcycle accident. The pulse of this album presses on his soul though, the fervent and capable tendencies the soul has of reaching heights and depths without any control of our own. There is a subtle grandeur to George Lewis Jr.’s voice and musical nature however, and those qualities are allowing Twin Shadow to be his vessel for “confessing” the elements of his soul and the musical architect inside.
Confess and Forget have similar qualities in some aspects and in other aspects there is an explicit growth and maturity visible. As I listen to Confess I hear all of the instruments. Some of them at the forefront, some more understated. The drums and drum machines harness the pulse. The vocals and slight guitars tampering the background like a minimalist machine as well as saxophones and dreamy synths at certain times, all of them providing well-rehearsed virtuosity and breadth. Unfortunately, at times I hear too many similarities between the two albums but lyrically new ground is being charted with Twin Shadow’s newest release. I think it has more to do with George Lewis Jr.’s journey as a human and the relationships that he is learning from more than his career as an “up and coming” pop artist, which I revere as a much more important journey in every instance. “Like the shake of trembling things, like the ache of unused wings, I’ve been workin’ on makin’ it start again, but I’m not in love, this isn’t love” Lewis Jr. professes honestly on the track, “Run My Heart”.
To touch on the musical traits on this album, an 80’s pop vibe emerges, and effectively too, if I might add, with tracks like the album’s first single, “Five Seconds” with its heavy synths, fuzzy distorted guitars slyly and simply off the center, and pervasively echo-ridden vocals. Although, nearing sounds of his counterparts in Wild Nothing and flirting with the vocal and drum patterns of the 80’s sound rivals, Depeche Mode, I feel that Twin Shadow has somehow found some light, whether within himself or within his art or just in the power of his journey. There is a sophistication in Lewis Jr.’s voice, a readied stance as far as his pursuit of the future and a realization of where he is at in the moment. Look for Confess, out now on 4AD records and I hope that you won’t be disappointed.