Twin Shadow talks about the success of Confess, his fiction, and music videos

Twin Shadow talks about the success of Confess, his fiction, and music videos
Photo By Samantha West

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George Lewis Jr., better known as Twin Shadow, recently released his sophomore album, Confess, to a round of applause from critics. On Confess, Lewis crafts an eerie landscape filled with dark textures and strings it all together with strong vocals that stay front and center, and every song could stand alone as a hit single. It's a sleek, modern album, drawing on inspiration from some best-loved 80's beats--you can hear the feather-light touch of Prince in the spine of the record, with the big melodies and electric drums.

At the same time, Confess is more mature and thoughtfully crafted than your average guilty pleasure power ballads. Every arrangement on the album was written and produced by Lewis, and he lays everything out like a dark mastermind. Confess is a chilling piece of art, one that fits easily at a dance party or in your car stereo, blasting down an empty highway--which is probably how Lewis wants it.

Ahead of his show on Monday night at the Entry, Gimme Noise chatted with Lewis about the album, other projects he has lined up, and some of the challenges of making a music video today.

Gimme Noise: Confess is being touted as one of the best albums of 2012 thus far by a fair amount of press. How does that make you feel?

Twin Shadow: It's a little unreal. I mean, it's nice to feel like you're always making progress and obviously it's very nice that your work is validated.

On your website, you say that the inspiration for Confess came from a series of motorcycle rides you took after an accident. Can you tell me a little more about the inspiration?

There was never really a sort of big idea. The album is twelve songs that come from all kinds of different places.

For a lot of artists, the first album is the big introduction, and the second one has all the pressure of a follow up. What were you feeling in making this album, following up with the success of Forget?

I just think you can't really get caught up in it being that kind of thing. If you think you're gonna fail, you probably will, and you just can't get caught up in worrying about what people are gonna think about your next record. I mean, of course you worry, but keeping it to a minimum is key, and not thinking, "Well, I have to outdo myself," rather than just being yourself. I think that's where people fall short. We worry about stupid things.

Tell me about Night Of The Silver Sun. It's an original work of fiction, right?

It's a story I wrote while I was on tour in Australia. It's not really post-apocolyptic, it's like the world is already ended and people have come up from underground and the young people have started these motorcycle gangs and kind of live on the outskirts of town. It was kind of like a story about three characters who get in a love triangle in this weird motorcycle world.

And you're illustrating it now with some music videos, like your recent video for "Five Seconds." On your website, you said that would be part of a "series of episodical videos." Can you tell me a little more about those?

They'll be little releases that fit the story. The music videos are based on [Night Of The Silver Sun]. Writing is kind of a hobby of mine, and writing is kind of what I'm basing the visual on.

Any word on the next music video?

Well... making music videos is really a lot tougher than people think. It's really hard to get people behind you because it's not an easy way to make money, so I'm always faced with the challenge of doing something creative outside of just making records, and that challenge is usually the money.

Okay. So, you've got quite an extensive North American tour lined up, and I know you recently concluded your European tour. How did Europe treat you?

We had a really great time in Copenhagen, it's really great there.

Are there any cities in particular on the North American stretch that you're looking forward to?

I'm really excited for the smaller cities, because the kids are usually really psyched to see bands. They don't always come through in the smaller cities.

Anything you're listening to right now that you're really excited about?

I always space when people ask me that question... The new Frank Ocean record. It's pretty great.

Twin Shadow plays at the 7th Street Entry on Monday, August 6 and Tuesday, August 7 along with Poolside. Tonight's show is sold out, but tickets for Tuesday's show are $16. 8 p.m. 18+.

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