Tuesday, 26 October 2010

i-ntroducing Twin Shadow

For i-D online.

Meet George Lewis Jr, otherwise known as Twin Shadow, the hottest new thing happening in eardrums on the other side of the pond. His smooth-sounding jams with stripped-down pop sensibilities are causing all sorts of waves in Brooklyn's music scene and beyond, reviving us from a tiring plague of indie duplicates. The result is Twin Shadow's marriage of a style so dated it works with his own distinguishable savoir-faire.

What instruments do you play? Can you play drums for real or is that an illusion in the video for 'Slow'? I been playing guitar since I was 14. I didn't take song writing seriously until I was 21 when I slowly realised that I am often not happy with other peoples playing so I started to learn piano, synths, drum machines, drums, saxophone, bass; anything I can get my hands on. I don't play any of them that well, but it's good enough to make my music. My drumming is okay, needs work. I'll even take some lessons if anyone out there is willing...
You travel a lot. Do you feel creatively stunted if you stay in one place for too long? What does Brooklyn mean for your music? It sounds a bit cliché, but I like being away from home. Brooklyn doesn't mean much, I love it, but it hasn't been much a part of my music making.
How did the relationship with Terrible Records form? Those guys are my boys at this point, super chill, super love. Chris contacted me after hearing some tracks and wanted to release a few songs on his new label, that turned into an EP then into a full length.

Your name is based less upon the fact that you are an actual twin, and more on motorbikes. But is your twin also a musician? And aside from motorbikes, what else inspires and epitomises the sound of Twin Shadow? My twin is not a musician, or maybe she stands in for me time to time! I'm inspired by the quiet and dark things in life. I used to sit in this old people's home parking lot in Florida at night and stare up a the nurses tuck the old folks into bed. It was so quiet and sad, I think about that memory a lot.

Similarly, what influences your smooth artwork? It's very, dare I say it, Prince-esque. I think my generation can be a bit conservative and plain. Twin Shadow are way more interesting than that.

The record is out this week. How do you feel about it; does it feel satisfying? How come you settled on titling it 'Forget'? I am very happy, it's been a long time in the making. It was the name of the song that was hardest to put on the record because of its weight on me. I have a problem of forgetting so many things, right down to my name, so making this record was me sifting through my mind to remember everything I've known and trying to remember why I even make music. And now that I've remembered I can forget again.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing this? a) This interview; sleeping in the van b) This music thing; I'd be a painter and live in Sweden.

Twin Shadow's 'Forget' is out now in the US and available worldwide from 19 October.
Text Alexandra Pereira

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