Like Cohen, Lewis' lyrics are complex and literate, often combining a depressing world-view with a hopeful message and sharp wit. Born in New York City and growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan Island his songs are also highly informed by his home surroundings, with songs namechecking places such as Williamsburg, the FDR Drive and the East River. Jeffrey Lewis was born in New York in November 1975. He attended State University of New York at Purchase College and graduated in 1997; his final thesis was on the Alan Moore graphic novel "Watchmen". After being signed by the British record label Rough Trade in 2001, Lewis released his first official album The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane, and in 2003 he released the album It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through. His latest record, City & Eastern Songs, was released in the U.K.
in November 2005. All three albums also include his brother, Jack Lewis, who wrote and sang a number of the songs. He has also performed and collaborated with fellow New York Anti-folk singers Kimya Dawson and Diane Cluck. His latest album, 12 Crass Songs was released on Rough Trade in Europe in September of 2007. As the title suggests, it is 12 covers of the British anarchist punk band Crass.
It features vocals, keyboard and recorder from Helen Shriner, bass by both John Kessel and brother Jack Lewis, drums by David Beachamp (live drummer/The Bloodugars) and Raphi Gottesman (who often plays with Jack Lewis). Shwervon's Nan Turner also contributes vocals to various tracks. Jeffrey Lewis is a Welsh composer. After graduating from University College, Cardiff, he studied composition with Stockhausen, Ligeti, and Boguslaw Schaffer, and electronic composition with Don Banks. His early career was spent as a pianist with the Paris Chamber Ensemble; after his return to the U.K, in 1973 he joined the Department of Music at the University College of North Wales, Bangor.
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