In addition to being an accomplished indie crafter of catchy pop hooks, George Lewis Jr. has also embarked on the difficult task of writing a different kind of material altogether. Night of the Silver Sun is the novella that he's recently penned, and although he's not quitting his day job, he's not sloughing it in his unintentional journey at becoming an author either. "I've been playing music for a long time," says the man behind Twin Shadow. "But I have a lot of work to do to become an author. Writing is something I've done in my life always. I've enjoyed writing the novel because it's challenging. But when I write, I'll write for like eight hours straight. It's a really peaceful time in my life when I write."
Although writing a proper novel may be unblazed territory for Lewis currently, the same most certainly cannot be said about his musical career. Confess, his most recent release, has been described by some as a proper soundtrack for the '80s. It's a gorgeous ode to new wave and pop nostalgia, yes – which is something that few musicians in recent years have been able to successfully compose – and it sure as shit has some great dance tracks on it, too. (Don't even try to say you haven't busted a few moves while listening to this first single off the album, "Five Seconds.") But the thing is, he isn't trying to put out a new wave knockoff album at all. "I don't even know who falls into that category," he confesses. "I'm really not a huge follower of that genre. I'm more about rock music. I write melodic music that has synth and guitars."
Some people just have a certain level of danciness in their blood. And for Lewis, it's just kind of what he does. His intent is mainly to just make rock music, but don't hold it against him if it comes out sounding new wave or incredibly dancy. Why not just have fun with your music, right? "I've always loved the sound of synthesizers," he says. "It sounds unnatural in a way, but also very human."
Lewis is about making music that comes to him – what he enjoys and what sounds good. And from a production standpoint, he's worked with some of the best in the business. But no one can say that he hasn't done it on his own this time around. He produced Confess himself, after having Chris Taylor (from Grizzly Bear and other indie fame) as the producer on 2010's debut album, Forget. But why venture out on your own after being able to corral such a talented producer the first time around?
"I constantly want to prove to myself that I can do it on my own," Lewis explains. "If it comes out great, it's on me. If it comes out bad, it's my fault. And it's hard for me to be impressed. It would take someone with a real vision, I guess. It would need to be someone who would come in and be like, 'Forget what you know, here's how we're going to do it.'"
At this point, though, it doesn't seem like there's anyone clamoring to tell Lewis to rethink how he's doing things. He's doing just dandy on his own, thank you very much. | RDW
Twin Shadow with Poolside • 8/1, 8 p.m. • Pike Room • 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac • 248.858.9333 • thecrofoot.com • $15