Twin Shadow

Night Rally Tour

Twin Shadow

Wild Belle, Helado Negro

Thu, October 1, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY

$25

This event is all ages

Twin Shadow
Twin Shadow
“That moment when something pure and constant is broken, where you’re filled with vulnerability, that moment is what I live for in art,” says George Lewis, Jr., aka Twin Shadow. “I’ve always chased that in my music, and when I find it I try to reign it back right before it falls over the edge.”

Never has a Twin Shadow record hit that sweet spot like ‘Eclipse.’ Brimming with dramatic tension and explosive, emotional release, it’s an album of heartbreaking uncertainty and anthemic longing, a soundtrack to self-doubt and desire and the kind of unshakeable, late-night thoughts that hold the promise of sleep dangling forever just out of reach. ‘Eclipse,’ Lewis’ third album as Twin Shadow, follows up on the success of 2012’s ‘Confess,’ an international critical smash which Pitchfork hailed as Best New Music for its “brash lyrics [and] laser-focused songwriting,” Uncut called “an impeccable sequel to an immaculate debut,” and NME dubbed a “thrill ride.” Stunning performances everywhere from Fallon and Conan to Coachella and Bonnaroo cemented Lewis’ status as one of the most charismatic and compelling frontmen in music today, but by the end of touring for ‘Confess,’ he found himself burned out and in need of solitude.

“I had moved to California after finishing the last record, and a lot of my time after the tour was spent in this little house on top of a hill in Silver Lake, just kind of being very secluded and not really socializing much,” remembers Lewis, who was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Florida before relocating to Brooklyn, where he adopted the Twin Shadow moniker.

In LA, he spent time restoring an old car and working on his motorcycle, embracing the privacy and welcome change of pace from the East Coast. He went for long drives around the city, listening to pop and hip hop radio for the first time in years. But when it came time to start thinking about his new record, the proximity of other homes clashed with his nocturnal recording tendencies, and so the hunt was on to find the perfect studio space, one where he could never, ever wake the neighbors.

“We had played a show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery,” Lewis remembers. “They have concerts there and we had played in the Masonic temple on the property, and my manager and I were discussing, how it would be cool if the cemetery had a place where we could set up a studio. At night there would be no one to disturb.’”

Lewis took a tour of the grounds and fell in love with the historic chapel at the far end of the sprawling cemetery.

“The Inside of it was empty, and there was this little, I guess it would have been a minister’s quarters,” he explains. “I could set up a control room there, and then I would have access to the large chapel space, as well. So we just jumped at the chance to do that and we started the whole process of building up my studio inside of this chapel in the cemetery.”

It was a spooky setting—especially considering Lewis recorded, produced, and engineered most of the album by himself in the dark of night—but it was also a beautiful one that lent the music an epic, spacious quality. ‘Eclipse’ is the biggest sounding Twin Shadow record to date, scaling monumental emotional heights and facing down intense anxieties and moments of naked vulnerability head-on with a remarkable clarity of vision.

Album opener “Locked and Loaded” sets the scene immediately, with dreamy synthesizers floating below Lewis’ lush voice as he sings, “I’m all alone, phone under my pillow / Sleeping on a time bomb waiting for your phone call.”

The song bears dual meanings for Lewis, who found himself at the crossroads of an uncertain relationship while simultaneously dealing with the hospitalization of his father during the making of the album.

“Almost all of the songs have this duality,” he explains, “and that’s why I called the record ‘Eclipse.’ “It feels like two elements passing each other, one blocking the other out and then resurfacing again, this idea of very small things eclipsing bigger things and blocking them out.”

“I’m Ready” begins with a hushed, half-spoken verse that flashes back to the house in Silver Lake. “There’s a boy in a car at the top of a hill looking down at LA,” he whispers. “He’s so close to the stars and the fires that start but he feels far away.” An exultant chorus breaks through the insecurity and doubt of the verses, as Lewis triumphantly sings “I’m right here, I’m ready / I need this love” in one of the album’s most memorable hooks.

“When The Lights Go Out” tackles secrets and infidelity in a digital age where privacy is a thing of the past, and “To The Top” is a towering ballad about the delusional desire to repeat past mistakes in hopes of preserving fleeting moments of pleasure and comfort. The album also includes Twin Shadow’s first duet, “Alone,” which features vocals from Lily Elise, while the dancefloor-ready “Old Love / New Love” features vocals from D’Angelo Lacy.

“Even when I try to make a fun dance track, it’ll still end up boiling over with a vulnerable quality,” says Lewis. “I think it’s because I can be a bit reserved emotionally, I can be guarded and hold it all back in social settings, so with music, it’s really important for me to let my guard down as much as possible.”

In letting his guard down, Lewis has ultimately reached his greatest heights yet with ‘Eclipse.’
Wild Belle
Wild Belle
Natalie Bergman has had her picture taken on countless occasions -- hundreds of studio portraits and live shots and backstage festival snaps. But the simple, gorgeous black & white photo of Bergman on the cover of Wild Belle's Dreamland that she describes as "just me and this sort of abyss" That one was lensed by the person who best knows how to capture her essence on celluloid: Her older brother and bandmate, Elliot Bergman. Besides being Wild Belle's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Elliot has an equally impressive flair for visual arts, from painting and sculpture to bronzemaking and photography. An avid collector of vintage cameras, Elliot brought along a recently acquired Polaroid Land Camera to a show Wild Belle played in Denver this summer: The duo grabbed a quick moment at their hotel to take the portraits of each other that grace the front and back of their new record. "The pictures Elliot takes of me are always really beautiful and it's because he knows me better than anyone else on this Earth," says Natalie. Adds Elliot: "I like that it's a photo of Natalie just being Natalie. And the stark contrast of her in the foreground with the dark background really fit with these collages she has been doing. Natalie is in the light but the shadows are pretty heavy and you can't really tell where she is or what's back there."

Recorded at studios in their native Chicago, Natalie's new home of Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Dreamland -- Wild Belle's bold, evolutionary new album -- derives from an era in the singer's life when she was struggling to get control of what she describes as the "anger and deep sorrow" that plagued her at the end of her most recent romantic relationship. For a woman whose music has always been inspired by her desire to translate her complicated feelings into immediately relatable songs, there was certainly plenty of grist for the mill. Dreamland tracks such as "Losing You" and "It Was You (Baby Come Back)" offer glimpses of the darkness that Natalie battled during the early months writing for the duo's sophomore full-length. But there are also genuine moments of lightness and ecstatic triumph, like "Giving Up On You" -- an irresistibly kinetic, punk number Wild Belle recorded with TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek producing.

"I was very heated when we were making this record. My body, my heart and my soul were filled with a flame, which sounds very dramatic but it's the truth," says Natalie. "I had a healing moment when I moved to LA earlier this year, because I was far away from my ex and I felt like I was getting rid of a lot of baggage. That was the redemptive, triumphant time for my lyrics. On 'Giving Up On You,' I sing: 'Now I smile so bright, you can see me from outer space, look at me shine. Baby it's about time, I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.' All the songs I wrote near the end of making the album have that sentiment: 'Now look at where I am, after all the turmoil that was inside of me, I'm here and I'm happy and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.'"

The follow-up to 2013's Isles, Dreamland expands the band's ambitions in every way. "It's deeper, it's more fun, it's more haunting, it's got more grooves," Elliot says. "There's sorrow and pain but there's also hope and joy -- all those things can coexist in the songs because they coexist in life." He continues: "Dreamland, that's not some kind of idealized notion of where we live and I hope people hear that as a question: "What is the Dreamland What is our dream here" The album doesn't get overtly political, but we're dealing with a lot of the things that are dark about what's happening now. 'Throw Down Your Guns' is about a relationship but is also kind of about the messed up situation that we're in right now. The chorus, 'Throw down your guns / In the name of love, I put my hands up,' to me can be heard in a number of ways, including as a prayer for peace or a cry out against violence."

Importantly, the album also shares its name with one of the first songs Natalie remembers Elliot introducing her to: Bunny Wailer's 1970 reggae classic, "Dreamland." One year for Christmas, he gave her a compilation of female artists who recorded at Jamaica's legendary Studio One, and it included Della Humphrey's version of the song. Natalie listened to it over and over and over again. "I was so in love with it," she says. "From there, I started my exploration of rocksteady and ska and lovers rock and anything that had to do with Jamaican music from the Fifties onward."

The duo started writing music together several years ago, after Elliot took a sixteen year-old Natalie on tour to play percussion with his acclaimed Afrobeat ensemble, NOMO. "I can present a song to Elliot and he has this foresight -- he can see things further than I see them, and he helps me realize things," she says. "I'd been writing very simple melodic love songs since I was fifteen years old. I definitely have a pop sensibility in my style, and that's a great platform for Elliot to work from, because it's fun for him to have a cool little pop song and combine it with more eccentric sounds and make it into a weird, unique percussive jam. Sometimes he'll bring the jam to me and because we've got this routine together, we can write a song together wherever we are."

Work on the album began in early 2014, in Chicago. The song that opens Dreamland -- "Mississippi River" -- was also the first one to come together in the studio. It was sparked by a moment of musical serendipity: "The record starts with this pulsing ARP drone," says Elliot, "which is a very expensive esoteric nerdy synthesizer that's complicated to program. Natalie and I had this weird, symbiotic thing where I was playing three chords off the ARP and she started playing different three chords on this out-of-tune autoharp she brought over. They were both completely in the wrong key, and yet perfectly in tune with each other. That was like the new bar for the record. It was like, 'Yeah, we're going to put synthesizers and saxophone and kalimbas on these songs, and we're going to have lavish string arrangements if we want to. We were getting comfortable with all of the materials that we love, and being like, 'I love this, so let's do it."

They tracked several songs at home in Chicago last year, and then at the start of 2015, Natalie packed all of her belongings into the Wild Belle van and drove from Chicago to Venice, California. She rented a house where Elliot joined her a couple weeks later. "When I had my place in Venice, Elliot would wake up earlier than I would and start making dope beats," says Natalie. "One day he made this ridiculous song, 'The One That Got Away,' and the beat and underlying track were so exciting that it didn't take very long to write. Our friends came over and were jumping on the tabletops, dancing, getting naked because they loved the song so much."

"Playing the new songs at Lollapalooza for the first time with an eight-piece band," says Elliot, "I had a feeling onstage that I'd never had before with Wild Belle, where you're part of a sound that's much bigger than you could make on your own. It's this charged-up badass feeling. It's about a groove and rhythmic energy and force and momentum and making a big, dark, deep sound -- something that moves people and makes you want to dance and makes you want to shout. It's tapping into a deeper musicality that I've always been looking for."
Helado Negro
Helado Negro
A South Florida native, born to Ecuadorian immigrants and based in Brooklyn, Helado Negro aka Roberto Carlos Lange’s upbringing provides essential elements to his songwriting, including his consistently bilingual – English and Spanish– lyrics. While citing the influence of electro and Miami-bass he heard on the radio in his youth, his diverse work as Helado Negro points to shades of kraut rock bathed in his mesmerizing rhythms, loops and hair-raising melodies. Known for his craftsmanship, Lange has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development, pouring his heart and full sincerity in his music. His fourth LP Double Youth released in 2014 garnered acclaim with Pitchfork naming it “”the boldest and most intricate Helado Negro work to date.” With a degree in Computer Art and Animation, Lange, a multifaceted creator, has worked with mediums such as video, sculpture, sound and performance. While Helado Negro is in a sense a one man band for the digital age, a constant collaborator, Lange has worked on projects with numerous artists including Sufjan Stevens, Julianna Barwick (as Ombre), Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), Guillermo Scott Herren(Prefuse 73), School of Seven Bells and sculptor David Ellis. Helado Negro tours extensively and has performed in diverse venues from clubs to cultural organizations including the Wexner Center, Columbus; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; Museum of Natural History, L.A.; Mass MoCA, North Adams, Marguilies Warehouse, Miami, Festival Centro, Bogota and Vive Latino, Mexico City. In March of 2015 he premiere’s an orchestral commission during the inaugural festivities of the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in Saint Paul. “Among the musicians currently redefining Latino culture worldwide,” Helado Negro “creates a sonic landscape that reflects 21st-century Latin America” (National Public Radio).
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.terminal5nyc.com/
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