Have you heard of Twin Shadow? If you haven’t, shame on you. Well I mean, not really. If anything I’m excited to tell you about a band you haven’t heard of/listened to. The band had their debut album, Forget, out in 2010 and it made a huge splash in the realm of “indie” music that year. If anything, it left more echoes over time, making the 80’s, new wave inspired sound more and more potent to the ears after repeated listens.
So anyways, what we have here now is Twin Shadow’s sophomore album entitled Confess, which is filed under the 80’s inspired category as well, but in a different sub section, if that makes sense. This album is heavily influenced by the romance, the flair and the badassery of the 80’s. Not that the one before it wasn’t, but this is more focused on one central idea: the idea of the journey of a cool hero dude, meeting the girl of his dreams, going through drama and stress with her, then riding his motorcycle through the night to rescue her while she’s in peril.
This of course isn’t literally what the album is about, but that’s the kind of mental picture that appears in my head while listening to this music, and it isn’t that off point. George Lewis Jr, the front man of Twin Shadow and the man pictured above, was in a motorcycle crash with a friend that heavily affected his songwriting, to make it something that acts like a unshakable memory like a car accident. Pair this with all the other motorcycle imagery Lewis uses like the promo picture for his “Ton Up” tour and emails depicting him revving his motorcycle engine in his driveway and you’ve got a truckload of motorcycle imagery. Then, take all this imagery and put it into the movie type setting I described in the paragraph above, you’ve got a classic 80’s movie premise. A great one, at that.
I have to say, the first time I listened to this I was a bit disappointed. Mostly because I was expecting to get some awesome, catchy melody lines like in “Slow” or “Shooting Holes” but here, things are more thematic, not so focused on just melody. There’s a bigger picture here, which is impressive. The same kind of thing happened when I was listening to other records of this year, like Chromatics’ Kill For Love and Death Grips The Money Store where there is a central story being told. Large-scale synth textures and deep percussion back up the storytelling here, again following the huge-movie like outfit the album seems wear. The new wave sound is paired with the pop-culture sentiment of the eighties, where the fifties played a heavy influence. James Dean definitely comes to mind when you see GLJ pictured on the cover sporting a leather jacket, looking serious with a red-neon glow on his face. This ushers in images of a late-night vigilante riding through the darkness contemplating his life’s decisions.
Like Twin Shadow’s first album, the more I listen to it the more I fall in love with it. In this case it’s the story and drama that goes into the contours of the album, instead of the immediate gratification of catchy grooves and the allure of the new wave sound.
Currently, I don’t have a car. If you do have a car, motorcycle, scooter, bus, whatever; I highly recommend you play this to enhance your driving experience. Like last year’s Drive soundtrack, Symmetry’s Themes For An Imaginary Film and Chromatics’ Kill For Love, Confess alters your reality and places you in a badass type state. Who wouldn’t want that?
STREAM CONFESS HERE
KEY TRACKS: You Call Me On, Five Seconds, Run My Heart, The One, Patient, When the Movie’s Over, Be Mine Tonight
What are your thoughts on the album? Lemme know!
Have a great night!