November 12, 2010
Album Review: Twin Shadow - Forget (4AD)
Grab your coat! We're going down Memory Lane
8 / 10
It’s a hard knock life these days. Between the prospect of an extended period under practical Conservative rule, realising one of the world’s most respected religious leaders is pretty much a moral vacuum and wondering how in God’s name Wagner is in The X Factor top 10, things aren’t what they used to be. It’s no wonder then that, musically, from Summer Camp to Best Coast, we’ve stepped into a sepia time machine recently, transported back to a golden age where romance abounded and Justin Bieber was a mere glint in the milkman’s eye.
Twin Shadow (aka Dominican-born George Lewis Jr) and his blend of hazily new wave-tinged pop is also unmistakeably rooted in the past, yet its enveloping synth swoon goes far, far beyond mere nostalgia peddling. From the sweetened distortion of ‘When We’re Dancing’, teaming ’80s Casio minimalism with a honeyed vocal reminiscent of Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen, to the sentimental lyrical web of ‘Castles In The Snow’ (“Here’s all I know/Your chequered room and your velvet bow/Your Elvis song in my ears/That moonlit voice that I hear”), ‘Forget’ is less a nod to the past and more a long-lost relic of it, a warped tape discovered from a time long gone.
In stand-out track ‘Slow’ – a twinkling, bass-led groove with a chorus that soars around Lewis’ repeated laments of “I don’t wanna be, believe, in love” – Twin Shadow finds his lineage in The Cure and The Smiths, while ‘At My Heels’ takes the heartwarming bounce of Aztec Camera and reimagines it via a New Order stomp – and therein lies the key. ‘Forget’ is not trying to be anything; if it sounds reminiscent of a certain time then it’s because that’s where its heart truly lies.
“I’m trying to remember all the things that I’ve known”, goes ‘When We’re Dancing’. Remembering, reinventing and emerging with a record as joyful as it is tear-stained, Twin Shadow has crafted something that’s understatedly, subtly, almost perfect.
Click here to get your copy of Twin Shadow's 'Forget' from Rough Trade Shops.
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