Track of the Day: 'Castles in the Snow'

By Brendan Hasenstab

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.

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

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