I first heard of Twin Shadow around this time last year through Urban Outfitters’ Music Mondays blog, which collects the best new hipster-approved tracks in bite-sized weekly instalments. “Castles In The Snow” stood out to me because it was so different from everything else I was listening to at the time: its atmosphere is melancholy, irresistibly beautiful and weightless all at once. Now that I have had the privilege of listening to Twin Shadow’s first full-length album Forget, I am pleased to see that it reads in much the same way as that sample track. Although the songs are tinged with sorrow and an abstract feeling of unease, they often defy any superficial negativity and soar to inspiring musical heights.
Singer/songwriter George Lewis Jr. refers to his music as “B-movie pop”, but that humble description doesn’t really do justice to his artistry. Influenced by 80s new wave, electro-pop and glistening dance tunes, Lewis Jr. loves to use various synth tones and heavy drum beats. However, his songwriting never becomes mired in retro tropes or specific genre labels; instead, he uses these recognizable sounds to inject his songs with new life, supported by his captivating voice. Forget begins with the mellow “Tyrant Destroyed” and ends with the similarly low-fi slow dance “Forget”, and in between there is a wide range of more upbeat tracks with something for everyone to enjoy. Despite the range of melodies and instrumentation, Forget‘s overall sound is still cohesive, bringing to mind a low-key, dreamlike fantasy.
As I listen to this album on repeat for the umpteenth time (believe me, once isn’t nearly enough), I realize the moniker Forget couldn’t be more thematically fitting for Twin Shadow’s music. Although you may not succeed right away in letting go of, or “forgetting”, what ails you, this album makes cathartic recovery much easier by way of its brilliance and surreal beauty. You won’t want to wake up from this collective dream anytime soon.
Forget was released September 28, 2010 by Terrible Records.
Reviewed by Rachel Davidson