Three years ago, Trevor Sensor released the wonderfully off-kilter album, Andy Warhol’s Dream. Like Warhol conveying messages about society’s insatiable consumerism through his art, Sensor crafted widescreen tales about the everyday person’s desires to have more. The stories were clever, entertaining, and timely, and even today the entire LP remains relevant as everyone continues to seek to have everything.
Given Sensor’s proclivity with the spoken word, however, a more apt comparison may be Hunter S. Thompson. The former journalist and late novelist immersed himself in American’s “counterculture”, delving deep into every corner of the USA to expose its ugliness and myriad of contradictions. The Illinois-born singer-songwriter similarly has dove headfirst into the polarization that threatens to rip America at the seams. His purpose, like Thompson, is to chronicle the truths that people wish to ignore, which he does brilliantly and with typical Sensor fervor on his latest single, “These Dark Days”.
The song is an entertainingly raucous and biting folk-rocker that sounds surreal yet is extremely present. It is filled with contradictions, including how the song is jubilant in its approach yet appalling in its observations. Immediately, Sensor sings:
“Everything is dead, the past left behind
Saw three pretty women weeping in line
Holy Bible in the drawer, sleeping on the floor
Waiting for the news of the comin’ war”
Throughout the song, Sensor discusses the many ways the world is imploding: leaders resigning, parents sacrificing their children, communities decaying, and religion striking fear into the people it is suppose to save. But the even more bizarre aspect is that we accept these occurrences as part of our daily lives. That these contradictions define who we are. Sensor goes further when he shares:
The thing I notice is we all carry on with our pursuits no matter how good or bad the odds of them succeeding are. The fact that we do anything in spite of our certain end is the essence of our nature. That’s what makes the human story so heroic and comical. We put on the face of infinity while death hides in the back of our heads.
Hear this excellent and clever single below. For those in the US, with an election just around the corner, maybe, in Sensor’s own words, “it seems that we’re heading towards darker days.” Well, let’s hope not.
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