Twin Shadow – Deaf Institute, Manchester – 26th January 2011

Posted on February 7, 2011

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4AD are proving to be masters at signing high-quality music acts, and Twin Shadow is the latest to emerge from their offices. Twin Shadow is the moniker adopted by George Lewis Jr., a Dominican-born singer who makes synth based music layered with ingenuity. Manchester’s Deaf Institute was sold-out as locals clamoured to assess his credentials and see if all the hype that has been circulating is justified, and they were left in no doubt that this guy has a big future.

The quality of the synthesised sounds is impressive, as are the funky bass lines; but most remarkable is Lewis’ vocal. Technically impressive and full of unadulterated emotion, he demands to be listened to in a live format. He strikes a near-perfect balance between power and subtlety, with a rich, smooth delivery that typifies the band’s talent. There is also a great camaraderie and enjoyment exhibited by the band, the mark of musicians who believe wholeheartedly in their music. The consistency on display makes choosing a best song very difficult, but ‘Castles in the Snow’ provided a highpoint of the evening. A beautiful song, it contains a stunning chorus that had the audience hypnotised. ‘When We’re Dancing’ is another favourite among the fans. Reminiscent of early Bowie, it is sung with such vim and vigour that one cannot fail to be wooed by its emotion.

The future for Twin Shadow looks very bright. His album ‘Forget’, produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, demonstrates his ability very clearly indeed, and a few more shows of this calibre will yield much larger audiences very soon.

words by Robert Pollard

Sam Ellis Photography

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Posted in: Music