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Shadow of no doubt


Photo: Alex John Beck

George Lewis Jr. — the
New York City-based New Wave musician who performs as Twin Shadow — is
in a different place than he was in the time surrounding the release of
his 2010 debut, Forget. Touring behind that record found him
abusing drugs, canceling some shows and waking up in the hospital on
more than one occasion.

This time, he promised, will be different.

trying to focus more on being able to really play the fuck out of the
shows. I want to give all of my energy to the show, and not so much to
partying or being stressed,” Lewis said.

“Well, I’ll still party and bullshit.”

sometimes self-destructive experiences, along with a motorcycle
accident Lewis suffered almost 10 years ago, helped inspire what would
become his sophomore effort, Confess. But Lewis said the wreck has received undue focus.

got lost is that what this record is about and what I want people to
think about is that music is a place for me to tell my stories, a way
for me to communicate with human beings and to share love,” he said.
“I’m grateful to be doing that.”

Released in July, Confess comes
just a year and a half after the critically acclaimed Forget. Even with
added attention (read: pressure), Twin Shadow rose to the occasion.

“If you see yourself failing, you’ll just kind of fail. I made the record really soon. The label wanted me to wait, but I didn’t want to sit there and think about it,” Lewis said. “That can sometimes be the problem: people waiting forever to do it. They’re afraid of failing and losing an audience. The fact that this record is outselling the first makes me feel great.”

Creatively, Lewis is firing on all cylinders. 2012 has seen the release not only of Confess, but also his debut novel, The Night of the Silver Sun.

“It’s so different I can barely talk about it,” Lewis said. “Writing a song is all about simplifying language, taking a myriad of ideas and crunching it down to 40 words. Writing a book is the opposite: You need to describe everything.”

He’s also found time to craft an accompanying short film. About a motorcycle gang in the future, it will play as a series of music videos for Confess’ singles. The first, “Five Seconds,” debuted in Times Square.

All have combined for a banner year for Twin Shadow, even if Lewis hasn’t quite figured out the magic formula.

“All I know about success is that if you’re honest and believe in what you do, people are attracted to that,” he said. “I can’t say what makes people love music or what makes one album more successful than another, but I do believe in that honesty.”

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