[23 July 2012]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
It’s no wonder Trevor Montgomery has turned to the moniker Young Moon for his new record, Navigated Like the Swan. There’s a nocturnal stillness to these songs, the space of a nearly quiet night. Percussion is spare, guitars echo out into blackness. Montgomery, for his part, has a sort of confessional groan of a voice, some warmer version of Nick Cave’s underbelly croon. He fills the chilly air of “Winds Light” with pining lines—“Tell me you love me,” he insists. “Tell me I’ve grown”—that melt at the edges with equal parts hope and doubt. His music may be spare, but its parts stretch out and make a surprising heft. It also has a variety to it—from the heartbroken trudge of “A Reason” to sepia-toned hues of “Emma Jane”. Navigated Like the Swan is a patient, insistent record, almost to a fault. You may wish, at moments, that Montgomery picked up the pace just a bit, but mostly the album mixes very immediate emotion with a wistful vibe that shows you the deep roots those emotions have in yesterday. Montgomery never yells, he never pitches a fit, yet in his quiet way he still gets your attention.