Listen To New Youth Lagoon Track 'Dropla' Now25 Jan 2013
Listen To New Youth Lagoon Track 'Dropla' Now
Trevor Powers, whose stage name is Youth Lagoon, began writing his debut "The Year of Hibernation" in 2010. Based around the idea of psychological dysphoria, Powers tried to document the trails of his mind through songs of minimalism and hypnotic ambience. Powers later described his writing process as "my mind communicating with me, not the other way around...it can take me to scary places but I've realized those bizarre thoughts I have don't define me." After signing with Mississippi-based label Fat Possum Records in 2011, he toured much of the following year before going back into solitude to write.
Wondrous Bughouse, Powers' sophomore album, was spawned from what he describes as "becoming more fascinated with the human psyche and where the spiritual meets the physical world." During the time he wrote, Powers became intrigued with the metaphysical universe and blending those ideas with pop music. "Youth Lagoon is something so personal to me because writing music is how I sort my thoughts, as well as where I transfer my fears," explains Powers.
The resultant album is one which sees Powers boldly and confidently expanding his Spartan sonic palette, creating a record that opens upwards and outwards even as it retains his knack for beautiful melody and fragile emotion. With the production help of Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Washed Out), Powers delivers a gloriously widescreen take on the bedroom pop of "The Year of Hibernation", even as he explores darker subject matter such as a fear of mortality, or as he describes, "realizing that human life is only great because it is temporary". So, even while the songs are more full-bodied than they were previously, they are also as effortlessly poignant and moving as ever. "Dropla", for instance, employs lush orchestration to build and swell, making the recurring refrain of "you'll never die" triumphal, almost celebratory, while the stirring "Third Dystopia" progresses to a lump in throat climax which sounds like Powers casting out his demons, singing "evil is in the air, I'm not coming out/ out/ out...Jane's not here, she's on the other side, out/ out/ out". The overall effect is powerful and indelibly affecting, recalling not so much his newer contemporaries as epochal records like Mercury Rev's "Deserters Songs" or Flaming Lips' "The Soft Bulletin"; gorgeous psychedelic pop songs imbued with an ingrained heart of grief and sadness. Even though some of the titles may seem opaque, listening to this extraordinary record will make everything fall into place. As Powers says: "I'm not a gifted speaker, so explaining things is difficult for me. But music always makes sense."
1. THROUGH MIND AND BACK
3. ATTIC DOCTOR
4. THE BATH
5. PELICAN MAN
7. SLEEP PARALYSIS
8. THIRD DYSTOPIA
9. RASPBERRY CANE