The mystery around the Canadian musician deepens with a reissue of his second album, 1985's Romantic Times.
Lewis entered the record collector consciousness earlier this year with the re-release of his 1983 album, L'Amour. That LP was discovered by Victoria-based record collector Jon Murphy and eventually uploaded to the Weird Canada blog, before receiving a wider reissue by Light In The Attic. The music on L'Amour is shambolic folk with synthesizers, somewhere in the neighborhood of fellow outsiders Arthur Russell and Jandek. Detective work meant to determine Lewis's identity yielded anecdotal evidence of a jet-setting playboy with a penchant for ripping people off.
Romantic Times, Lewis's 1985 effort, was also unearthed by an avid crate digger. The eight-track album, credited to Lewis Baloue, features the shadowy character posing with a white Mercedes and private jet. The previously unknown release was discovered in the collection of Vancouver DJ and collector Kevin “Sipreano” Howes. The LP features more of the artist's singular dream folk; his vocals are accompanied by synthesizers and rudimentary drum machine programming. Dan Lowe, the Calgary engineer credited for the sessions, remembers little about the musician, stating that he seemed to be "under the influence." Romantic Times is already available digitally. Light In The Attic will release physical versions on CD and vinyl (both black and a limited run of pink) in November.
Only two known originals of Romantic Times exist. A copy found at a Calgary record store sold for $1,825 on eBay this past weekend.
01. We Danced All Night
02. Bon Voyage
03. Don't Stop It Now
04. It's A New Day
05. So Be in Love With Me
06. Bringing You A Rose
07. Where Did My Love Go Away
08. As The Boats Go By
Light In The Attic Records will release Romantic Times on November 17th, 2014. The digital version is available now.