Mixtape: Jaymes Young – “Dark Star”

Riding the intrigue sparked in May and sustained through summer by a string of stellar singles, Jaymes Young delivers his debut project, Dark Star (fittingly the title of the song that first put Young on our radar). It’s dark corridor pop, faintly influenced by R&B and full of the sort of tortured relationships and images that elevate even covers like Haddaway’s megahit “What Is Love” and Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me,” giving them a damaged, evocative edge.

The singles–”Wondering,” “Fragments,” “Hold You Down,” and, of course, the titular “Dark Star”–remain the highlights, the best balance of Young’s expansive but cleverly unified influences, touching elegantly on a variety of genres without ever losing a sound readily identifiable with the nascent singer. It’s a strong sign of potential coming to fruition and a distinctive style quickly cohering.