When Metro last talked with George Lewis Jr. in 2008, he had just released an EP of soul songs that ended up as one of the paper’s picks for record of the year in Boston. While it showed a stripped-down departure from his previous work as an unpredictable frontman of the art-punk trio Mad Man Films, the project would prove to be short-lived. But surely no one could have predicted what would happen next.

After spending a year in seclusion, Lewis would eventually go on to find a sound that echoed the beat of his heart and reflected his true vision.

“I was unsure of what I wanted to do,” Lewis reminisces. “In reality, I almost gave up playing music. I was pretty bummed about it. I forced myself to not even touch the guitar. In doing that, I regained my desire for playing and came back with tons of ideas.”

Re-emerging as Twin Shadow, Lewis’ songs found their way into the hands of Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, who would go on to master his record and release the album on his imprint, Terrible Records. A lush and intimate endeavor, “Forget” is still a soulful journey through the past, just not as far back. Multi-layered synthesizers and drum machines push the guitars into the background while Lewis’ lyrics volley back and forth from affectionate to apathetic, with a sincere and sinister delivery. The effect is dreamy and hopeful, caring and creepy.

Lewis recorded the album in his bedroom and various hotel rooms, playing almost every instrument on the record.

“I was never going for a new wave sound,” he says. “I know people are calling it that and I don’t care — people will always have to attach something to it. If we’re baking bread, you have to say what kind of bread it is.”

Giving up his heroes

“This album is about accepting things about myself that I thought I didn’t like. A lot of people I know who make music don’t know how to change and give up their heroes. I’ve always been someone who has questioned my heroes. People know me for being extreme and saying, ‘This is my life; this is my religion.’ But I’m also the first one to say ‘My god is an idiot.’ There’s so much music I love from when I was a kid that I kind of stuffed down. This project is a way to express all of those kinds of things. Maybe I stopped listening to those records because I was getting into punk. ... So I had to stuff down that love for really lush, beautiful, androgynous music. I don’t think I write music any differently; it’s just that now I don’t have any rules.”

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