From the immediate start of his debut album, Trevor Sensor’s husky-voiced howl will resonate with you for sometime. Recorded at Steve Albini‘s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, the LP features production work from Brandon Darner (Imagine Dragons), Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and Richard Swift (The Shins).
Sensor’s voice is especially reminiscent of a late 1980/1990’s Bob Dylan; raspy, raw and dry in the tracks “Lion’s Pride”, “On Your Side” and “It Wasn’t Good Enough”. The LP’s slower tracks stress a critical exigency where Sensor’s voice assists in creating a constant feeling of furious urgency. Despite the backing percussion remaining mild, Sensor bellows about impending doom and a last-minute fight in “The Reaper Man” – “Oh here’s the reaper man, he’s looking out for me, oh here’s the reaper man, hes coming to take me.”
The album’s title comes from Andy Warhol‘s prediction that the false idols of celebrity and fame will create an environment where everyone will experience fame that will last only for fifteen minutes. Sensor says, “I’m only really referencing Warhol as a vehicle for the ultimate representation of celebrity culture because of his repeated Marilyn Monroe or Elvis paintings or whatever. But now we’re in a post-God society that is finding new golden calves to worship, that is moving beyond that.”
It is full of alarming shifts in genre and sound. “Sedgwick” heavily features muffled guitar rich with power chords over a constant a pulsing drum beat with Sensor crying “Oh I can’t live here no more”, yet the track is sandwich between two songs that are either piano-dependent ballads (“It Wasn’t Good Enough”) or an organ-filled carol that that feels ripped out of from the classic records of Dylan, The Band and Van Morrison (“In Hollywood, Everyone is Plastic”). These three tracks move into the LP’s standout track – “The Money Gets Bigger” that starts off restrained before building into a bombastic and triumphant choral chanting of “I’m gonna be someone tonight” which will (with more exposure) undoubtedly become an infectious crowd-unifying sing-a-long. Following 2016 where Trevor Sensor released two EP’s, Andy Warhol’s Dream is a naked, bare and passionate debut release.
Review Score: 8.0 out of 10.
Andy Warhol’s Dream is out now through Jagjaguwar.