L'Amour - Lewis - Forgotten Soft-synth Mumblepop

While I was putting together that piece on Jandek, I was reminded of a review I read that said that Lewis’ 1983 release L’amour sounded like Jandek covering Twin Peaks, and honestly, isn’t that something we all want in our lives?

The album is 37 minutes of acoustic guitar, soft-synth, and a baratone voice whispering things he clearly believes to be vital. It’s beautiful, in a subtle way. It’s available from Light in the attic records.

There is very little that is actually Jandekian about L’amour, aside from the mystery surounding the musician, and it’s completely independent release. Where Jandek’s music is harsh and disonent, everything about this album is soft, melodic, and wonderful. It is almost, but not exactly, like something you’d expect to be featured in a Wes Anderson film.

The story goes that this guy scammed his way through recording and releasing this thing. Promising everyone that they’d get paid, eventually and ducking out of town before anyone noticed. The record was self-released, and some crate diggers dug it up about ten years ago, and folks the world over started falling in love.

It’s a beautiful experience. I’m glad that it got a wider release. Listening to this, though, and thinking about the story makes me really wonder what else is out there. Who else has an unmarketable, not commercailly viable work of beauty sitting on a cassette in a shoebox in their closet? What’s it going to take to get you to release yours?

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There is something very David Lynch/Twin Peaks about the sound, and about the story. I had a copy on vinyl at my record store right after the reissues came out, and managed to hold on to it for a whole day before the vocalist from Sea Ghost came by and bought it.

Re-listening to this today makes me want to buy another.


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Written on April 2, 2017