Track of the Day: 'Castles in the Snow'

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Past TracksGeorge Lewis, Jr. is Twin Shadow, and among the current revival of all things 1980s, his debut album, Forget, stands high above the pack. Musically, it's a perfect synthesis of the moodier end of Duran Duran and the funkier end of Gary Numan's oeuvre. And there is maybe a dash or two of "Let's Dance"-era Bowie in there, too. But the songwriting is what moves the whole effort beyond pastiche.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Lewis grew up the ultimate outsider in small-town Florida. His unease suffuses the album and yet this isn't a woe-is-me affair. In fact, the melodies carry the day.

There is a heavy dollop of romantic disappointment on this track. "You're my favorite daydream/I'm your famous nightmare," George croons, adding, "Everything I touch goes cold." But the chilly synth tones, handclaps in the rhythm track, and strong bass line perfectly complement the lyrics. This is a fellow who feels he can't catch a break. The album, expertly produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, exorcises a number of Lewis' adolescent demons. Rarely has such catharsis sounded so cool and compelling.



On iTunes: Twin Shadow / "Castles in the Snow"

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Brendan Hasenstab is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn.

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