New York Dates:
2/6 – Glasslands W/ Class Actress – Brooklyn
3/13 – Cameo Gallery – Brooklyn
Twin Shadow makes the sort of music that one imagines would perfectly soundtrack the premature but poetic end to an affair. Shimmering, synth-heavy arrangements underpin bittersweet modern soul songs, all of which seem to document some sort of recent or imminent loss. FRACTIONSOFONE.COM
After a stint living in Berlin, Bowie and Kraftwerk obsessive and former band-hopper George Lewis Jr. moved back to his home base of Brooklyn and started writing affected electronic pop under the name Twin Shadow. This backstory is maybe not that unique, but Lewis’ elicitation of songs as enigmatic as “Castles In The Snow” and “Yellow Balloon”–both co-produced by Ed Banger affiliate Mickey Moonlight–certainly is. They’re like a wiser, well-adjusted alternative to glo-fi, due on a forthcoming 7-inch in March with another set to follow for Chris Taylor (of Grizzly Bear)’s Terrible Records. Yes, this dude will probably have a really good year. RCRD LBL
This is like the soundtrack to those moments when the drugs still haven’t quite worn off; you’re still smiling broadly and glowing, but firmly rooted to the sofa. He has a single due out in March, so look out for that. It seems Brooklyn never runs out of energy, so we are looking forward to what else appears throughout 2010. THERECOMMENDER.NET
So the story sounds a little familiar. At least at first, as George Lewis Jr. recalls his 10-round bout with writer’s block, a struggle that was broken by searching the streets of Berlin for the ghosts of Bowie, Reed and Pop. Because that’s what artists do when they get tired of playing rock ’n’ roll, right? They revisit the point where the gods of glam and four-alarm guitars discovered such groove-riding Germans as Cluster, Kraftwerk and Can.
“The whole experience of living in Berlin was very cinematic,” explains Lewis Jr., “reinforcing the idea of being in a place where you can indulge just about any fantasy, creatively and personally. What I wanted to do came out with such clarity once I got back to Brooklyn—I spit a bunch of songs out right away.”
A couple standout recordings from those early bedroom sessions are “Yellow Balloon” and “Castles In the Snow,” which will be released as a limited 7” in March. These songs also serve as the phantasmagoric foundation for a forthcoming LP of new songs that’ll be released through Chris Taylor’s (Grizzly Bear) Terrible Records later this year. Driven by brittle drum breaks, crystallized keys, rubber-soled bass lines and galloping guitar chords, the double A-side single is a poppy but peculiar introduction to Twin Shadow. The solo project took on a life of its own last year, as Lewis Jr. found his calling amid a steady diet of laser-guided synth lines and layered loops.
“I remember the first time someone sat me down and made me listen to an entire Kraftwerk record,” says Lewis Jr. “I think it was The Man Machine. Anyway, I freaked out over it, because it made me realize why I loved David Bowie’s Low for so many years. I mean, I still listen to Led Zeppelin at least twice a week, but I don’t want to hear someone trying to do that anymore.”
He also doesn’t want to hold anything back after many years of bouncing between bands and exploring the tone poem side of songwriting with the Bill T Jones Dance Company and Lewis Forever, an ongoing performance art project with his three sisters. One of which is his twin, although that doesn’t quite explain the Twin Shadow name. Think of it as a movie title instead—a film adaptation of Bowie’s Berlin years, as filtered through the waking dream lens of David Lynch.
“It’s kinda crazy how new all of this is to me,” he says. “Everything is very spontaneous. That’s the other thing I learned in Berlin—that it’s okay to change, because it’s all connected in some way. Whatever I learn today is something I’m going to apply tomorrow. The tough thing is finding some cohesion. But that’s okay. Musicians who don’t evolve can only be a part of our cultural existence for so long, you know?”