Pedro the Lion is essentially David Bazan’s pride and joy. The singer, born in Phoenix, Arizona, details his personal experiences growing up in his latest coming of age and possible sequel to Lion’s last album, 2019’s Phoenix. The band itself has been a revolving door of members since 1995. Some of those members have left to pursue other projects like Fleet Foxes, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Shins. Bazan, though, continues to forge on with his personal diary of lyrical poetry that defined his youth. Some themes of Pedro the Lion’s lyrics range from religion to politics and coming to terms with both topics in his childhood. Bazan’s latest as Pedro the Lion, Havasu, sparks his path from childhood to manhood.
Bazan’s lyrics are very autobiographical and personal. His lyrics about leaving Phoenix to Lake Havasu, Arizona at age twelve shows the experience of moving especially during childhood can leave such a scar. Bazan croons in “Don’t Wanna Move” “What difference would it make/If I could be real with you/I desperately don’t want to/Move to Lake Havasu” which pulls out feelings of loneliness, depression, and desperation.
Havasu’s “First Drum Set” takes off where Phoenix’s “Yellow Bike” left off. Bazan’s determination shows off in this tune as he sings “My first drum set/I couldn’t even play a beat yet/But I lugged it back to my room/Made it boom crack boom” and continues with “Teenage Sequencer” just when the peak of the album hits. Feelings of pride strum throughout as it details of Bazan’s first love.
Bazan’s Havasu concludes with his love for Havasu City, which honestly comes full circle for him. It was this acceptance his listeners were almost waiting for. His resentment he held from his childhood is lifted in this song before he and his family pack up to leave for Santa Cruz. Musically this album is a mellow melancholic piece compared to Phoenix but illustrates Bazan’s growth and voyage as a man throughout it all as he dug out feelings from his childhood that brought him where he is today.
Album Score: 7.0/10