In spite of being lumped in with bedroom-bound ’80s obsessives like Toro y Moi and Washed Out, Dominican-born George Lewis Jr., a.k.a. Twin Shadow, distinguishes himself on his debut album, Forget, with pungent synthesizer and crooning vocals that ride atop his songs instead of settling, shoegaze-like, below the instrumentation. Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear handled production in addition to signing Twin Shadow to his Terrible Records label, so he’s due some credit for the record’s gloomy, idiosyncratic soundbank and new-wave charms. Whether with the rumble-strip drone and steam-pipe hiss of the standout track “Castles In The Snow” or the Morrissey impression on “Slow,” Twin Shadow deftly sidesteps the major pitfall of similar acts: pleasant but undifferentiated songwriting that privileges mood over memorability. Album title be damned, Forget is crowded with turns that stick to the synapses, like the black-light beach-party of “Tyrant Destroyed” and the stricken refrain of “Does your heart still beat?” on “Tether Beat.” The subject matter is familiar enough, dealing as it does with the joys of summer and sweetly aching melancholia, but Twin Shadow manages to stand out in a cluttered genre thanks to world-beating, danceable hooks and a surfeit of style.
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