Twin Shadow and the Redemption of Chillwave, Live at Bardot on January 14
According to Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia), the term peak oil refers to "the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline."
Similarly, the concept of peak chillwave is that moment in history during which hazy '80s synth tones, mega-reverbed dreamscape moan vocals, and palm tree-triangle imagery has exhausted every possible combination, and must dutifully evolve or be forever damned to that dunce corner of history reserved for short-lived musical trends.
At worst, the genre is hipster-norm sonic wallpaper. But at its best, as practiced by pop technician George Lewis Jr. (AKA Twin Shadow), chillwave's non-threatening, aural-hedonist agenda is applied to clever compositions that emphasize songwriting and chops over lazy gloss and aesthetic pandering.
With a new, still-untitled album scheduled for release in 2012, Lewis continues to tour on the momentum of 2010's Forget, the breakout album that launched Twin Shadow to the top of the indie-pops and landed him a tour with peers-in-chill Phantogram.
Songs like "Slow" distinguish the producer and multi-instrumentalist from the pack with their wide range of sonic textures - rather than, ahem, washed-out synthscapes, Twin Shadow employs a broader palette of gurgles, crunches, and generally varied tone.
And don't forget Lewis's highly emotive, R&B-inflected vocals, which, on tracks like "Castles in the Snow" (a melodic homage to Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand"), make it clear that Twin Shadow isn't just trying to blend in with the bliss.
Twin Shadow with guest DJ Lolo (Sweat Records). Saturday, January 14. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $27 plus fees via bardotmiami.showclix.com. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.
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