Fresh off the release of his third full-length album, George Lewis Jr. (aka Twin Shadow) is ready to take flight.
This is not to say he hadn’t already risen to decent heights: The Dominican-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s first two records, Forget and Confess, were indie hits and included songs like the popular singles “Five Seconds” and “Golden Light.”
But new record Eclipse moves in a decidedly soul-pop direction, opening Lewis up to reach wider audiences. It’s his first record with major label Warner Bros Records, after leaving independent stalwart 4AD late last year.
Lewis is about half-way through a 33-date national tour. He spoke with Isthmus from Detroit in advance of his April 14 concert at the Majestic Theatre.
Your new album is a really different record for you. What was the vision for Eclipse, and what drove the change to a more pop-centric sound?
It was really about just pushing myself. A lot of time passed between the making of Confess and Eclipse. I get very antsy when I feel like I’m in a stagnant place, so I knew I wanted to try something that wasn’t necessarily in my comfort zone. I think Eclipse is a good example of what it means for me to push myself in a different direction.
What was the appeal of Warner over 4AD?
The obvious difference is having more financial support to take bigger risks with your creative endeavors — music videos, the marketing of the record, the actual recording of future records. But a more important thing is the people who you work with. I loved everyone at 4AD, but I feel it is important to have very constructive criticism and conversation happening around your music. I want to get better at it, take bigger risks, go to places I haven’t been before and be surrounded by people who are willing to have a constant conversation with me. That’s what I found at Warner Brothers.
You’ve criticized your own work in the past for being “elitist.” How do you think your new record moves away from that?
I think maybe elitist was a poor choice of words. I’ve had people tell me that my first two records went over their heads. It was too weird for them, or it was this or that.
I’m interested in my music reaching as many people as possible, so I criticize my own work in my own brain, thinking “I could have done this better or I could have that better,” and I’ll always be like that.
That doesn’t mean that I am going to compromise what I am doing; it just means that I’m going to try different things. Never in a million years would I go back and change what I’ve done, because I’m very proud of where I came from.
Any interesting stories from the road so far?
I think the most recent thing was that Jaden Smith was at our last show, partying and hanging out. The amount of security that is around that young man is pretty impressive.
What are your plans for future projects?
We’re just going to keep building the stage production. Touring is a really big thing for us; playing live is such a huge priority. And then I’m going to just keep making music. I can’t wait to get back into the studio.