Trevor Montgomery is a craftsman. By day he's a skilled tile setter, a job taxing to both the mind and body. By night he's an equally meticulous and hard working musician, coaxing just the right tones out of his vintage drum machines and synths to carry his tales of love and redemption. As a tile setter and as a musician, his job is the same: assembling things of beauty to fill empty spaces.
Montgomery's previous album The Trickster (St. Ives) was inspired by his youth, wandering in the woods, riding trains, taking meth and heavy psychedelics, and narrowly cheating death on more than one occasion. On Navigated Like the Swan, his debut under the Young Moon moniker, he emerges like a shaman from the woods of his youth -- his darkness is filled with light, cynicism and macabre fixations washed away by a revitalizing and intoxicating love.
It’s no coincidence that the songs on Navigated Like the Swan are reminiscent of a John Hughes soundtrack. In the 1980's after his parent's lost their business and home, the self-described loner took refuge in his headphones and cable television. Hughes' films are easy to love, but why? Because we see ourselves in the vulnerable and awkward characters struggling to find someone who'll love them warts and all. Like the best of Hughes' coming-of-age films, and their personality-stamping soundtracks, Navigated… succeeds in documenting the rare magic we're all searching for while navigating our day-to-day lives.
Almost 10 years after the release of his solo debut Songs for an Unborn Sun (Temporary Residence), his somber baritone on tracks like "Cold Day Solstice" and "Emma Jane" sounds refined and confident, easily drawing comparisons to Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. Similarly, if you heard the remarkable "A Reason" from a distance (in another room or a passing car) you might even think you were hearing The Boss covering a Mazzy Star song.