“Lewis [moves] between melodic garage-punk and raw acoustic grooves to great effect. But it’s his terrific wordplay—sharp, funny, poignant and much more—that really dazzles” —Uncut
Jeffrey Lewis and his various bandmates have perfected a scuzzy, urban style of indie-folk, developing from late-90s New York City bedroom tapes into a mighty 21st Century mash-up of folksy spiel and artsy garage, like Pete Seeger meeting Sonic Youth. A born and raised denizen of the Lower East Side, Lewis’s home recordings were discovered by Rough Trade Records in 2001 (famed label of The Smiths, The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian and more) while Lewis was briefly living in Austin, Texas. Since the 2001 release of his first official album “The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane and Other Favorites” on Rough Trade Records, Lewis has toured the world and released numerous acclaimed albums on Rough Trade and other labels. He’s built a worldwide fanbase while regularly changing band names, most recently recording as Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage for Don Giovanni Records and Moshi Moshi Records.
A list of the Jeffrey Lewis band’s sonic touchstones doesn’t look all that different from a list of the seminal acts Jeffrey has done gigs and tours with, like Daniel Johnston, Roky Erickson, The Fall, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Vaselines and The Mountain Goats. Rave reviews have come from just about every corner of the music world, including glowing reviews and/or multi-page features, in publications like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Uncut, Mojo, NME and others, and praise from music stars like Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Will Oldham, Jarvis Cocker (Pulp), Laura Marling, Regina Spektor and the late David Berman (Silver Jews).
Jeffrey is also an illustrator, and has written/drawn an ongoing comic book series called Fuff since 2004.
On stage, Lewis is backed by collaborators Brent Cole (drums) and Mem Pahl (bass, keys), a lineup currently known as Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage. The trio’s spectacular new full-length album Bad Wiring was recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney) and released November 1, 2019, on Don Giovanni Records (USA/Australia) and Moshi Moshi Records (UK/Europe/ROW).
Still based on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the year 2020 sees no signs of creative slowdown for Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, with more Bad Wiring tour dates being added to the calendar in the USA, UK and Europe, new comic book projects published, and most recently an interview on BBC World News regarding some newly written material. Live gigs continue to incorporate Jeffrey’s narrative folk acoustics and garage indie-pop wig-outs, as well as the occasional inclusion of Jeffrey’s multi-media full-color illustrated/sung histories and fantasies (some of which have been featured on History.com).
“Hands down my favorite contemporary songwriter” – Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie)
“Jeffrey is the best pure songwriter I know of” – David Berman (Silver Jews)
“A second. That’s all he needs to dazzle.” – Les Inrockuptibles
“One of the most extraordinary voices in contemporary music returns… for the euphoric and highly addictive Bad Wiring. Immediate, charming and perhaps the best delivery to date from one of the very most singular voices” – Deluxe Magazine (Albums of the Year)
“Weird? Very… but also downright inspiring” (****) – Rolling Stone
“A wordy force of nature… stirs you up with politics or knocks you sideways with sadness… ideas burst from Jeffrey Lewis like an overstuffed suitcase – strange ones, funny ones, poignant ones, usually a mixture…. kicking out ramshackle fuzzbomb jams… it’s difficult to imagine how any couple of hours spent in Lewis’s company couldn’t prove inspirational.” (****) – The Guardian