Destroyer Poison Season Merge Records
Dream Lover, the lead single from Destroyer’s Poison Season, owes a massive debt to Bowie’s classic album Young Americans. Wailing saxophones underlay wailing vocals which underlay wailing guitars. It’s a very soulful and brilliantly written track, one fitting of an evolutionary Dan Bejar – a Dan Bejar who has been eclipsing his role in The New Pornographers with this project.
Poison Season is as big a statement as any Bejar has made in the past. Its orchestral instrumentation, twisted pop and crooned vocals echo John Lennon’s more out-there moments. This Beatles influence rings through very loudly in the strings of Hell and the soft piano of The River, while loungey saxophones and muted trumpets permeate every other corner of the record. The brass lends an air of noirish, smoky jazz to tracks like Bangkok, which build on Destroyer’s primary elements of solid indie rock and intelligent lyricism.
It’s all testament to Bejar’s undeniable craftsmanship. Poison Season is a clever record, it’s big and bold but at the same time it has some offensively grandiose moments. So much so that the record’s extravagance ends up feeling bittersweet. At times you could be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to a Disney soundtrack or the cast recording of a Broadway show. Just take a listen to Girl In A Sling and see if you don’t picture a lost cartoon dog singing to the moon as he wanders his way back to the family home.