Trevor Powers is back with the careening caress known to the indie world as Youth Lagoon. Grab a sled because this avalanche has only just begun.
Youth Lagoon is Trevor Powers, a twenty-two year old from Boise, Idaho, who has gone from a bedroom-confessing songster to an indie sensation all within the span of a year stemming from the release of his debut The Year of Hibernation (Fat Possum).
At first listen it was hard to discern the finer points of each song. From the gender of the vocalist, to the actual lyrics, to the cluttered production, I was confused on quite a few different levels. But more importantly, I was intrigued because almost immediately all of those question marks faded into a haze of who gives a shit.
Youth Lagoon is magnetic. It is palpable, honest and easy. Each song timidly approaches you, a piano tiptoes through a melody and a heavily processed voice apprehensively calls out from the fog of emotion and before you know it you are committed. Locked in to how all this is going to play out. Turns out, Powers—22 years old—writes a lot about heartbreak. The kind of heartbreak only those who are 22 years old can experience. Bitter, raging, flagellating, hopeless heartbreak that comes with the concept that newly adult hearts are unfortunately made for the breaking and this is a process that must be endured time and time again until this whole love thing is perfected. Powers also writes about the crippling anxiety he has suffered with since he was a child:
For my whole life I’ve dealt with extreme anxiety, says Powers. Not anxiety about passing a test or somewhat normal things, but weird…bizarre things. Things that only I know. I sometimes feel like I’m literally being eaten up inside. So I started writing these songs. Not just songs about my anxiety, but about my past and my present. Songs about memories, and all those feelings that those bring. I know that if I can be honest about what is inside my mind, there will be others that will be able to relate to it.
And so, Youth Lagoon begins to make more and more sense. Powers has frozen this moment in his life, the last gasps of his youth, and barricaded them into an albums worth of material—literally lagooned his youth within these songs of strife, struggle, concern and complacency. As a listener we are drawn to authenticity, we crave substance. We wade through farce and fantasy daily. Youth Lagoon is about validity, the perfect account of a moment in time some of us are glad to remember and some of us strive to forget – but few can deliver with such precision.
Youth Lagoon play at The Independent Friday, April 13. Tickets to this show are unfortunately sold out. Doors are at 8:30, show is at 9:00 and Porcelain Raft provide support.