#soundcheck get your retro badboy on with twin shadow’s sophomore record ‘confess’

August 27, 2012

Twin Shadow’s 2010 debut Forget was rightly hailed as one of the most exciting releases of the year. It’s been 2 years and synth-pop lothario George Lewis Jr. is back with his breezy sleazy charm on the new Confess. The record is self-produced, Lewis channeling his inner (well, outer…) New Romantics era Niles Rodgers. The production is tighter than the Chris Taylor (of Grizzly Bear) produced Forget, allowing Lewis to explore the utter depths of his 80’s fetish. Sounding like an alternative universe in which Morissey was hired to sing all the songs on the Top Gun soundtrack (that’s a good thing…no no, trust me.), Lewis replaces Morissey’s self-loathing with a cocky self-confidence. “This isn’t love / I’m just a boy / you’re just a girl” Lewis sings on “Run My Heart.”

Twin Shadow takes the title Confess seriously, filling it with heart-on-sleeve lyrics. But unlike most earnest singer-songwriters, Lewis isn’t afraid to cast himself as the villain in his own love story. “Before the night is through I’ll say three words / I’ll probably mean the first two and regret the third / I don’t care.” His songs explore both the highest heights in his need for instant gratification and constant and exhilaration and the lowest lows. One minute he’s looking for a night of no strings attached fun, the next bewildered by the feelings he’s left with. “I don’t believe in you / You don’t believe in me / So how could you make me cry?” Lewis asks in the brilliant “Five Seconds.” So after 25 years of every indie rock singer doing their best Lloyd Dobler impression, George Lewis Jr. makes a credible case that it’s time for indie rock to have its own Bobby Brown. And it doesn’t hurt that the songs are catchy as hell.

– Words by Nathan Leigh