If the name George Lewis Jr. doesn’t ring a bell, maybe the moniker Twin Shadow will. Gaining popularity with his brooding, ’80s-inspired synth-pop and effortlessly cool sartorial flair, the Brooklyn artist is celebrating the release of his second studio album, Confess, with an ambitious North American tour. Hitting 40 stops over the course of two months, and treating Calgary to a show for the first time, Twin Shadow’s Ton Up Tour promises to impress.
Featuring more upbeat tracks and a bolder, fuller sound, Confess is a departure from the bedroom-y sensuality of his debut album, Forget. Despite the success of his first record, which was produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, Lewis chose to record Confess on his own in an effort to maintain creative integrity. Though also a period of artistic growth, Lewis describes the experience primarily as one providing very practical, technical skills.
“I learned a lot more,” he says. “Really mundane, uninteresting, but important things. It’s like learning a new craft.”
The sense of autonomy that comes with creative ownership is evidently important to the artist. Lewis compares this deepened appreciation for recording and production to his other love: motorcycles.
“I used to ride motorcycles and not know a thing about what I was sitting on top of. Now I know a good bit and I can fix my motorcycle. When I break down, I can figure out what’s wrong, fix it, and get on my way instead of having to call AAA.”
This newly developed attentiveness is unmistakable on the record, and Lewis intends to carry over that same craftsmanship to his live performances on this tour.
“There’ll be more attention to detail this time around,” he says. “We try to make the show better to keep fans excited. It’s different every night — we try to surprise people along the way.”
In addition to this heightened focus, Lewis attributes the polished sound of the album and tighter performances to sobriety. Not one to keep secrets, Lewis has been fairly candid about his abuse of drugs and alcohol, which he kicked while writing and recording Confess.
“When you’re sober, you’re a lot more practical about things,” he says. “It showed me a side of myself that I didn’t know I had: one that is more methodical with more attention to detail instead of just smashing it all down on paper and being like, ‘That’s it, I’m done.’”
For fans who haven’t had the chance to see Twin Shadow in concert, the Ton Up Tour is the perfect opportunity to see Lewis at his best — with renewed stamina, reinvigorated diligence and a true commitment to his followers.