2011's KAPUTT is/was Destroyer's high water mark. A double record of somewhat personal songs with rich, structured arrangements that conveyed the illusion of looseness. POSION SEASON, the recently released follow-up, is not as sprawling or as immediate as KAPUTT but it is pretty good showing a refinement of pop architecture, a comfort in moving about musically in different styles while retaining a sound.
Dan Bejar's (who for all intents and purposes is Destroyer) most recognizable feature is his Al Stewart "Year of the Cat" like voice which can be grating without suitably soothing backing accompaniment which here consists of a chamber pop/studio jazz hybrid evoking Steely Dan, Avalon era Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry's solo records,The Blue Nile, Mid 70's Joni Mitchell, The Divine Comedy among others.
In particular, the string arrangements are superb. On the songs where they are featured prominently they push and then dance around Bejar's vocals. On the songs where they are part of the mix they create a wall of sound that cocoons the song.
At times, I feel this is an addendum to KAPUTT although it exists to be enjoyed on its own. If KAPUTT was Destroyer's best record, it also created a level they will hopefully keep operating at. POISON SEASON is indeed on that same level of excellence.
Best songs after a couple listens - Hell, Midnight Meets the Rain, Solace's Bride, Dream Lover, Forces From Above, Sun in the Sky, Archer on the Beach, Girl in a Sling