reviewed by Patrick Hosken | Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

ConfessToday’s indie scene is a constant competition to see who can make the sexiest music. Guys with mustaches dominate the clubs from behind their fuzzy synths. The world abounds in grooves and rhythm, and there’s no shortage of dancing. If you’re not half-naked, covered in sweat, and centimeters away from someone’s lips, your musicians have failed you.

Twin Shadow might be the quintessence of this aural panorama. The leather jacket he sports on the cover of his latest, Confess, tells it all — the dude exudes animalistic charm. His music follows suit, with a sense of sexual urgency prevailing on single “Five Seconds.” There’s the low-blaring blast creeping behind stringy synth noise, the clicky drums, and the jagged electric riffs all pointing directly to the 1980s. It’s New Wave vapor cranked through club speakers.

The fundamental difference, however, is the emotional glaze with which Twin Shadow coats each of his tunes. Though it at times borders on melodrama, this album’s sappy lovesickness is its biggest strength. “Golden Light” is a slushy baptism into Twin Shadow’s silky, notched curriculum vitæ, with leaky keyboard chirps lighting the way. The slow-clap buildup of “Run My Heart” leads to a shattering climax liable to leave you with raised armhairs. Gorgeous neon blinks speckle “When the Movie’s Over,” but the song’s fluid melody is what you’ll remember.

Make no mistake — these are songs of seduction. True, musical brethren Beach House, Toro y Moi, and even Wild Nothing share Twin Shadow’s dreamy fog-machine heart. But Confess stays grounded in the reality of the hyper-romantic and oft-unreciprocated love that has to exist somewhere, even if it’s only in the lustiest corners of your imagination.

(4AD, 17-19 Alma Road, London, SW18 1AA)

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