Slim Twig first emerged in 2007 as a fully realized rock ’n’ roll archetype—the slick-pompadoured hustler with a vaguely threatening come-hither voice—then quickly abandoned that persona, forsaking his formative punk-schooled swagger for sample-based sophistication and goth-hop mixtape experiments.
Now, with upstarts like Vancouver’s Dirty Beaches copping a similar lonesome-drifter pose, Slim has radically altered course once again, surrounding himself with a backing band to make a classic-rock record—or, rather, his idea of a classic-rock record. Sof’ Sike is perched at that crucial moment in 1966 when amphetamines started giving way to psychedelics, but Slim imagines an alternate history where the druggy delusions of grandeur result not in wah-wahed guitar wankery and 17-minute drum solos, but rather a sound that’s more magisterial and opulent.
Coming from an artist who’s spent the past few years toying around with the artificiality of recorded sound, Sof’ Sike surprisingly derives its considerable power from mostly acoustic, naturally reverbed elements: rumbling pianos, booming kick drums, tambourines, hand claps.
While traces of Dylan, Syd Barrett, and Brian Jones–era Stones waft in and out of the mix, there’s an inherently warped, elastic tone to Slim’s voice and a carnivalesque quality to the shape-shifting song structures that effectively tarnish the golden-oldies aura—Sof’ Sike is not so much Slim’s attempt to recreate the past as to recast it in his own mysterious image.
Playlist picks: “Priscilla,” “Gun Shy,” “I’ll Always Be a Child”