From the first moments of Trevor Sensor’s debut EP for Jagjaguwar, Texas Girls and Jesus Christ, the Illinois-born 22-year-old singer/songwriter’s distinctive burr of a voice sounds aged decades beyond his years. The rest of the young talent’s music follows suit, too, with timeless-sounding melodies and a sense of songwriting that exudes maturity while still feeling fresh.
Sensor wrote the music featured on Texas Girls and Jesus Christ on a borrowed acoustic guitar that he has yet to return, composing songs that sound deeply felt and from a place of truth and honesty. “If I’m trying to do anything, it’s to be sincere,” he says about his songwriting approach.”A lot of singer/songwriters today are oriented in irony. It’s cooler to be lackadaisical rather than to try to be compelling.”
And Sensor’s music, above all else, is compelling: the proclamatory howls that close out the piano-ed “Pacing the Cage,” the dark desolation of “Satan’s Man,” and the dynamic blowout of the EP’s title track grab your attention and refuse to let go. “I think it’s very boring when people choose one dynamic and go with it,” Sensor opines on the full-band jolt that takes place in the thrilling back half of “Texas Girls and Jesus Christ. “It’s more interesting to me when people try to mix things up and treat every song as if it were its own person.”
“Songs are gateways into little worlds, and different worlds do different things,” Sensor states regarding his approach to songcraft, and this EP finds him, an English major with an affinity for writers ranging from Marcel Proust to Dave Eggers, crafting lyrical atmospheres stuffed with confessional lines that leave a mark and visual allusions that aren’t easily shaken. With Texas Girls and Jesus Christ, Sensor’s presented his own little worlds for listeners to explore — with many more to follow.