Album Review: Twin Shadow – Forget (4AD)

Grab your coat! We're going down Memory Lane

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 [b]Wagner[/b] is in The X Factor top 10, things aren’t what they used to be. It’s no wonder then that, musically, from [a]Summer Camp[/a] to [a]Best Coast[/a], we’ve stepped into a sepia time machine recently, transported back to a golden age where romance abounded and [b]Justin Bieber[/b] was a mere glint in the milkman’s eye.

[a]Twin Shadow[/a] (aka Dominican-born [b]George Lewis Jr[/b]) 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 ‘[b]When We’re Dancing[/b]’, teaming ’80s Casio minimalism with a honeyed vocal reminiscent of [a]Grizzly Bear[/a]’s Daniel Rossen, to the sentimental lyrical web of ‘[b]Castles In The Snow[/b]’ (“[i]Here’s all I know/Your chequered room and your velvet bow/Your Elvis song in my ears/That moonlit voice that I hear[/i]”), ‘[b]Forget[/b]’ 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 ‘[b]Slow[/b]’ – a twinkling, bass-led groove with a chorus that soars around Lewis’ repeated laments of “[i]I don’t wanna be, believe, in love[/i]” – [a]Twin Shadow[/a] finds his lineage in [a]The Cure[/a] and [a]The Smiths[/a], while ‘[b]At My Heels[/b]’ takes the heartwarming bounce of [a]Aztec Camera[/a] and reimagines it via a [a]New Order[/a] stomp – and therein lies the key. ‘[b]Forget[/b]’ 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]I’m trying to remember all the things that I’ve known[/i]”, goes ‘[b]When We’re Dancing[/b]’. Remembering, reinventing and emerging with a record as joyful as it is tear-stained, [a]Twin Shadow[/a] has crafted something that’s understatedly, subtly, almost perfect.

[b]Lisa Wright[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Twin Shadow’s ‘Forget’ from Rough Trade Shops.