The shift came after an Australia tour capped a whirlwind stretch that included plays at Lollapalooza and ACL, plaudits from Billboard, and placements on HBO and Fox. On a whim, Mobley flew to Thailand for a long-overdue break. Of course, leaving work at the office is tough when you write and produce your records, direct your music videos, and spend months at a time on the road honing your kinetic live show.
“I passed a music shop in Bangkok with a knockoff Telecaster in the window,” he recalls. “I thought, I’ll just grab it to play around with while I’m here.”
And thus, Young & Dying was born. Mobley recorded most of the guitar in a beachside apartment on a remote island, then, in one last moment of inspiration, left the instrument as a parting gift for a local cab driver he’d befriended.
The record glides between musical idioms with the ease you’d expect from a perennial new kid. Whether he’s cribbing Ennio Morricone, keening over a psychedelic gallop, or indulging in a futuristic art rock strut, Mobley cuts the figure of an artist in command of his powers.