George Lewis Jr. is a great storyteller. Since Twin Shadow’s debut album, Forget, in 2010, there has been much discussion regarding ’80s revivalism, reinterpretation of New Wave and the birth of chillwave. But throughout the debate, it was impossible for anyone to ignore that amongst Twin Shadow’s reference-heavy beats lies undeniably strong lyrical content, which allows Lewis to execute this newly created hybrid genre nearly flawlessly.
From the moment “Five Seconds” was released as the first single, it was blatantly apparent that a new Twin Shadow had been conceived. According to Lewis, Confess was inspired by the clarity and fullness he felt in getting back on his motorcycle after a long break following an accident. He had a friend on the back of his bike at the time of the crash, and in discussing his feelings toward that friend the instant before the accident Lewis has said, “I remember in that moment I wanted to say everything to him. How could I say everything in a split second? How could I bury my words in his heart?”
The opener, “Golden Light,” surges ahead with light steel-drum-sounding and skittering, synthetic beats, while “Patient” has major Prince vibes. “Beg For The Night” is easily the album highlight with a steady build that opens to an expansive, soaring chorus. “Five Seconds” is perhaps the best exploration of Lewis’s overwhelming urgency to share his feelings right before his accident. The song jumps in immediately with a racing drum machine pulse, and moments of acoustic guitar contrast with the spiky electric guitar and synthesizer sounds. The mixture of the unplugged and the electronic creates a tension in the music, which is bolstered by the frustration and anguish in Lewis’s voice as he sings, “Five seconds to your heart/Straight to your heart/I can’t get to your heart.”
Forget was dreamy and nostalgic. Lewis used that album as catharsis, giving the sense that writing it down was the only way he knew how to truly let go and move on. Two years, a motorcycle accident and lifestyle reevaluation later, Lewis is back and ready to confront his music with a new-found energy and boldness. The infectious beats and catchy hooks are still a driving force, but Lewis has abandoned the bedroom vibes to surge ahead with full-on amphetamine-induced vigor.