“It started with a conundrum, he said ‘it’s light at night but dark during the days’…” If any normal Tinder date started like this, you’d be out the door and swiping your way towards the next one before they had the chance to say “riddle me this”, right? You’d certainly never get to the point where the guy, who “loved to talk but hated conversation” gets the girl, who’s “well-spoken and depressed”, back to his book-lined flat and watches her cry for a bit.
Only in old Velvet Underground records - or songs that want to be old Velvet Underground records - does this sort of frankly sociopathic behaviour eventually lead to mysterious intellectuals shagging. Records like Lewsberg’s ‘Non-Fiction Writer’.
Crafted from the simplest materials - two chords strummed on a lo-fi electric guitar, a flutter of fuzzy melody notes, metronomic rim-taps and a dry, emotionless spoken-word narration - the song echoes the kitchen sink grace of early Tindersticks albums, themselves drunken whispers of Reed and Cale. It suggests a fresh delicacy and bedsit-poet romance is emerging from the misty ports of Rotterdam, seemingly a place where quoting Proust and affecting an air of contemptuous indifference might still get you laid. Bravo.
Lewsberg's debut album is out 13 April.
Words: Steven Kline