The best thing about music now is that age has become almost a none issue. I was talking to a musician friend who recently got back from touring the world in 2022—she’s almost forty (the youngest member in the band) and their immense fan base are primarily TikTok kids between the ages of 12 and 20. The proliferation of music on the internet has widened access far beyond the warped LPs in parents’ collections so music is no longer bound in generational terms. The fact that Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac were charting again 2022 is direct evidence of that. Time is irrelevant to music. What’s important is the space a song can hold in our individual lives and how it connects within the collective unconscious. Lewca has the unique ability to tap directly into those depths.
Anyone who’s familiar with Normandy based British musician will know his ability to craft infectious hooks. I’ve been playing his latest release Friday Night Rockstar on repeat as I drive around in the Vancouver rain screaming at Siri over Lewca’s gruff delivery to take the notes that make up pieces of this review. Now I find myself blurting out lines like the self-directive chorus of the album opener “Stop being such a cunt” to clear pedestrian traffic in my path. It seems like something I can remember my father doing and that makes me smile.
Across this album I sense a feeling of celebratory nostalgia. Lewca and I aren’t too far apart in age so we share both common musical touchstones and a newly developing awareness of our mortality. In his words Lewca says,
“There’s definitely a nostalgic aspect, as I watch my children grow, I am forced to acknowledge the passing of time and the inevitable demise of the eternal adolescent that lives in my head.”
Lewca’s eternal adolescent attitude of “I don’t give a fuck” is precisely what makes this album so great. From the brilliant title track Friday Night Rockstar that deconstructs a guitar riff that would fit nicely on any Bad Company album and then subsequently devolves into a synth driven frenzy to the choppy clavinet and Beastie Boyish “La lalalala” outro on A Million Things Lewca mashes up his influences into a deliciously irreverent feast.
Between Lewca and his Parisian beatmaker/composer collaborator S.O.A.P. they tap into and carefully subvert musical archetypes. On Every Day Struggle they throw harmonica on a track that feels like something Jarvis Cocker could’ve written after ten pints and just enough coke to give him a proper edge. That’s followed by the spaghetti western dusted Forget My Name where I see an image of the tortured loner in the desert who hears distance horses and checks his revolver to see how many bullets he has left. All of that with a chorus hook that wouldn’t be out of place on a Roots album.
I Feel Incredible channels Rapper’s Delight over a dirty funk groove and the maniacal I Fell In Love With A Serial Killer could easily be a modern re-imagining of a Johnny Thunders song. Lewca is a master of melding his wide spanning influences. He and S.O.A.P. condense and layer genres seamlessly so each track remains timeless with a razor edge of humor that shows they know exactly what they’re doing.
My favorite song on the album is currently Harmony Korine. A song that could be considered a Lewca club track and encompasses everything that shines for me in this collection of songs. It embraces a distinct generational time period with lyrical imagery like,
“My old man chain smoking in the car
with the windows up
And the kids in the back
with no seatbelts on”
For younger listeners Lewca acts as a historian who has firsthand lived experience and can translate it into an uplifting anthem that can be chanted by any age without any sense of irony. Friday Night Rockstar is a tour de force from an artist who remains vibrant and ageless. Lewca embodies excess and there can never be enough excess.