Topping a classic can be hard. Topping several? One only need look at Eminem’s last decade. It goes without saying that Wolf Parade’s debut set a new standard for indie rock 13 years ago, and for my money, Sunset Rubdown’s work from Shut Up I am Dreaming to Dragonslayer is nearly just as lovable, and certainly more idiosyncratic. (To not even mention projects including Swan Lake.)

So what’s a man to do when his work retains nearly that level of quality, yet suddenly becomes unrecognized? The shift in the zeitgeist from “weirder the better” to poptimism hasn’t been especially kind to Spencer Krug. His work as Moonface has always been at the least intriguing, with Julia with Blue Jeans On stark, piano-based work in particular standing out as deceptively simple, unique songcraft. Imagine someone other than Krug taking on ‘Black is Back in Style’: it simply wouldn’t be the same.

Excluding a relatively low stakes collaborative EP with Siinai, Krug has taken his time coming to a full LP following Jeans in 2013. Granted, the Wolf Parade reunion surely sucked up time, but regardless, especially for a man so prolific, he was truly biding his time, considering his answer to his seemingly dwindling fortunes.

As a retort, the exhaustively titled This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet is a loud one, and above all, a stunningly bold one. Presented as a bit of a carefree adventure before Krug moves on to a new project, in secret, the album is perhaps the most ambitious of his career.

Swelling in at 84 minutes, listeners may be surprised to find that for an artist with a seemingly short attention span (one way to explain the bursting, careening glee of a Sunset Rubdown record), Krug is more than up to the challenge of a sprawling musical epic.

It’s hard to call Dancer anything less. The album’s genesis is one for the books: recorded as two entirely separate projects, with differing collaborators, in different locations, in different years, Krug gradually came to see their concepts, nonetheless, interlinked. And so he culled them together, blending his own personality, from the project written from his own perspective, with the truly epic, from a project inspired by Greek myths, written from the perspective of a Minotaur.

Sound light and easily digestible?

To be sure, This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet (I imagine the double title now makes rather more sense), is a challenging, even demanding, listen. However, few double albums in recent memory are so rewarding. Often self-interested and sprawling for the sake of sprawl (looking at you, Julia Holter) by definition, Krug has dodged the pitfalls of such a lengthy project with endless energy and even, dare I say, style.

He wasn’t wrong: despite their separate births and disparate elements, the set of songs here blends together so naturally that one can’t help but be taken aback. Whether by design or the inherent power of myth, Krug’s humanity is not only underscored, but highlighted, from the tragically monstrous perspective of the Minotaur. He’s perhaps never worked within a wider emotional range, unafraid to jump between deeply felt poetics and the likes of, “and now I want your sex.”

Also expanded, often unexpectedly, is his musical palette. Delving into autotune in Dancer’s very first moments, Krug’s willingness to dash into heretofore unexplored territory doesn’t let up, with moments of the album feeling, dare I say, even danceable. This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet will take you to the end of the world, and back, and keep your head nodding to a gentle groove throughout. It just might be a feat worthy of Greek myth.