ILLINOIS singer-songwriter Trevor Sensor, who beguiled hearts and minds with a clutch of EPs and his debut album, Andy Warhol’s Dream, on Jagjaguwar back around 2017-18, has been away, grown his hair into a leonine mane, and is back with a new album on High Black Desert Records come mid-June.
He’s collected together a clutch of beautifully observed rural tales from the viewpoint of a dusty drifter, for that second long-player, On Account of Exile Vol. 1, which he’s unveiling with the haunting seduction of “Chiron, Galactus” – you can watch the video below.
“Chiron, Galactus”, is a gritty ballad of loss and revenge, inspired by Panos Cosmatos’s psychedelic horror film, Mandy.
While living in Colorado some years ago, Trevor and some pals watched what they’d heard was “the trippiest horror movie ever made.” Turns out what they’d been told wasn’t wrong; so affected was Trevor that he immediately retired to the basement to compose “Chiron, Galactus” in less an hour; a song that features couplets such as “Well your body was burnin’/ And I was tied up with tears/ I was stabbed with a steak knife / Dreamin’ up all my fears / And I don’t believe in God / And I said, ‘I am your God’ / While the villain was pleadin’ / God was looking on.”
Talking of his experience of the film, Trevor says: “It functions as this perfect allegory of the dichotomy between those who want to be left alone, and those who can’t leave people alone.
“Red and Mandy are just trying to get on with their lives peacefully in the woods away from everybody, and these Jesus freaks and acid cannibals barge in destroying their world because of one guy’s fragile ego.
“That’s pretty much the catalyst to all the problems of the world if you think about it. Those who seek to impose their will upon others are often the worst of us, because it’s a reflection upon their own character – their insecurity with their own existence. They feel the need to master others because they can’t master themselves.”
Sounds like the film left an indelible impression; added to my to-watch list forthwith, dunno about you. And “Chiron, Galactus” is sure to leave the same depth of impression on you, beginning in raspy vocals and guitars and detonating with an epic and expansive climax of catharsis, pain and strings; the sort of beautiful sublimation you get from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Galaxie 500, even Springsteen at their fiery heights. A cascade of imagery flickers past as he mourns his murdered lover. Heart-stopping and arresting: “I caught him licking human bones … that woman was sure my wife.” it’s a fully formed classic of modern Americana in the sad mould of John Murry’s “Little Colored Balloons”
He says: ”You become a vehicle for whatever strange power that’s out there to work through you.
“Some deep melancholic anguish rose up in me, and everything came out fully formed. The pain was not subjective, but shared.”
It’s the lead track on an album which Trevor promises us is one “for trailer park loners, desperate drifters, nouveau riche rejects, or frankly anybody who feels at odds with the cultural milieu of rotting America.
“I relate best to those who’ve only got the wind to lean on.”
Trevor Sensor’s On Account Of Exile, Vol.1 will be released digitally by High Black Desert Records on June 18th and may be pre-ordered here.