Daughn Gibson's 2012 debut album, All Hell, felt like it was recorded solely to bait David Lynch into making a film worthy of Gibson's eerily fascinating techno/country ballads on the soundtrack. The unnatural bedroom sample-tweaking paired with his freakishly deep baritone made a perfect twisted sense, evoking a depressed Johnny Cash robot from the future.
For his highly anticipated follow-up, Gibson took a more conventional studio approach and worked with actual musicians rather than sliced up samples. Unfortunately, the glossier results are less immediately appealing than his earlier raw experimentation. He's not a good enough songwriter or singer to pull off pure pop. Even more problematic: his voice comes across as comedic when it's not submerged in hazy electronic textures.
But if you can get past his occasionally sounding like a drunk Ian Curtis doing an Elvis impression, all the original promise remains. Gibson is a very talented young artist testing his limits and only occasionally stumbling.
Top track: The Pisgee Nest