On Twin Shadow’s latest record, Confess, frontman George Lewis Jr. emerges as a struggling romantic antihero, yearning for real love but falling victim to debauchery, dishonesty, and doubt. Consider his character to be a modern-day amalgamation of seductive libertine Don Juan and angst-ridden cynic Holden Caulfield. Below are the top 10 lyrics on Confess — Lewis’ most enduring testimonials of his metaphysical dilemmas. — Alex Koenig
10. “Some people say there’s a golden light, you’re the golden light / And if I chase after you, doesn’t mean that it’s true.” – Twin Shadow, “Golden Light” Lyrics.
During the glistening and climactic chorus on the leadoff track of Confess, we ironically have Lewis shrugging off a cynical aside: he hears rumors that this particular girl is wonderful — a “golden light” — but Lewis finds their claim dubious. Just picture the guy squinting his eyes and crossing his arms over his slick leather jacket.
9. “Patiently waiting for you to give up everything and say just what you mean.” – Twin Shadow, “Patient” Lyrics.
For all the LP’s attention to love, sex, and excess, a theme that might be swept under the rug is anxiety. This lyric is one of the record’s edgiest moments. You can tell that Lewis is straining to sound honest here, and the apprehensive tone of his voice as he utters this line gives it away.
8. “She said five seconds and you’re high / Straight to your heart. I can’t get to your heart.” – Twin Shadow, “Five Seconds” Lyrics.
Lewis claimed Confess to be inspired by a return to his motorbike, having previously stopped riding following an accident. Consider the insistent hook of “Five Seconds” to be evocative of that exhilaration: Lewis rushing for reciprocity from a flirt with the same high-octane energy as a Hells Angels gang tearing up the freeway.
7. “I’m in love with the light, just show a bit more / I’ll wait for the night if you open the door.” – Twin Shadow, “Beg For The Night” Lyrics.
Love songs with a nocturnal setting aren’t exactly terra incognita for songwriters (see: The Cure, The Smiths), but Lewis’ chronicle of after-hours courtship doesn’t follow the usual tropes; instead of reveling in the night, he uses it to personify his crestfallen romantic interest. But he’s willing to bear the brunt of her dejection, as he is enamored with her fleeting moments of joy—her “light”.
6. “I want to be adorned by your lips and your hands / Can’t seem to tell you this when you analyze every single kiss.” – Twin Shadow, “Patient” Lyrics.
When you portray yourself to be a no-nonsense playboy, the concept of “taking it slow” probably seems a bit uninviting. Thus, our narrator expresses chagrin with the woman he’s referring to here. As much has he needs to express his adoration, he feels stonewalled by her white-knuckle response to his advances.
5. “I’ll cry when the movie’s over.” – Twin Shadow, “When The Movie’s Over” Lyrics.
Deem the word “movie” to be a metaphor for vicious, limitless cycle of drama that fuels Lewis’ life. We’re talking about the greed, anxiety, and jadedness he creates and abides. Even bad boys require catharsis, and when all is said and done, crying appears to be the most satisfying release of his welled-up tension.
4. “I don’t give a damn about your dreams, a whole world that is falling at the seams / Cause that’s what it’s supposed to do.” – Twin Shadow, “You Call Me On” Lyrics.
John Steinbeck once famously wrote, “I wonder why progress look so much like destruction.” While it’s doubtful that Lewis would cite Travels with Charley as inspiration for the bleak lyric above, his sentiment seems congruent with the beloved author’s, postulating suffering to be an indispensable aspect of personal growth.
3. “I want every word, I’m hung on your lips / I know it’s absurd to cherish every kiss.” —Twin Shadow, “Beg For The Night” Lyrics.
When you think about it, Lewis and the NBA’s Dwight Howard really aren’t much different: they’re both “players” who have a difficult time sticking to commitments. As much as Lewis wants to bare his soul to this woman and treasure her love, he finds his feelings to be “absurd.” Like Howard, Lewis seems to prefer free agency.
2. “You can learn to be still but we will always be broken.” – Twin Shadow, “Mirror In The Dark” Lyrics.
Sonically, the instruments of Confess couldn’t be described as “still” – they whirr with the freeway breeze of a motorcycle ride. Our narrator’s devotion to fast living follows suit. Unlike the partner he’s speaking to, Lewis would rather remain in motion than become “still” and be forced to evaluate his actions. Thus his attempts to forge a meaningful connection end up “broken.”
1. “Before the night is through I’ll say three words / I’ll probably mean the first two and regret the third / I don’t care.”– Twin Shadow, “I Don’t Care” Lyrics.
Behold, the album’s cigarette-flicking kiss-off. If the narrator has any qualms about his instability and egotistical nature, he certainly doesn’t show it here. It’s insouciant, pretty-boy swagger that will likely leave the ladies clutching their bed sheets in anguish as he exits the room. Regardless of his morals, at least Lewis is upfront about what he wants.