Lewis

L' Amour

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Mononymous Canadian crooner Lewis' only known album, 1983's L'Amour (which must certainly have been a cheeky reference to pulpy Western author Louis L'Amour), is an atmospheric, introspective set of almost narcoleptic synth and acoustic pop ballads. Think a mumblecore take on Bryan Ferry or David Bowie singing on Ambien and you'll come close to the sound Lewis achieved on L'Amour. This is chilly, synth-based music featuring long instrumental stretches, punctuated by Lewis' almost unintelligible if not unpleasant singing. Aesthetically, one might say that Lewis (who, according to Light in the Attic's research, may have actually been a stockbroker named Randall Wulff) seems inspired by such touchstones as Low-era David Bowie, late-'70s Brian Eno, and the downtempo cabaret-pop of Scott Walker (especially the Walker Brothers' 1978 reunion album Nite Flights), even if he never fully embraced the dissonant aspects of those artists. Similarly, though L'Amour is probably too lo-fi and arch to have ever achieved much mainstream attention, the soft-focus, often electronic nature of much of Lewis' material wouldn't have sounded out of place next to such '80s new wave bands as Japan, Human League, and ABC. Ultimately, while Lewis himself remains an enigma, the music on L'Amour offers us a fascinating glimpse of a long-forgotten Canadian pop auteur.

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