September 11, 2013
Listen To Youth Lagoon
Welcome to Bands You Should Be Listening To. My goal here is to bring an artist to your attention, whether you’ve heard of them or not, and convince you to give them a listen. My hope is that you end up finding some tunes that you love! Let’s get started.
Apparently Youth Lagoon is just one guy. Sure fooled me. Listening to the dense, sweeping tunes Trevor Powers has put together across two albums, I would have thought Youth Lagoon was a full band, bouncing ideas off each other, and building the records that we’ve been enjoying. But no, Youth Lagoon is simply the work of one incredibly creative guy, and the songs he’s making have a depth to them that’s unusual in the “chill and sparse” genre that he’s found himself a leader of.
Daydream has some really cool little electronic touches that buzz around the track, lending it energy and drive. Posters, the first song I ever heard from Powers, starts like any indie ballad, but the subtle production throughout the song give it so much to listen to. Over a three-minute span you’ve been underwater and swirling fast through open space. Cannons is a powerful but restrained song that finishes with a soaring chorus. And he doesn’t overstay his welcome. His albums are short and sweet. His debut The Year of Hibernation was only eight tracks long.
On any other little indie record, the intro track might sound a little weird, disconcerting, or discordant. No vocals, maybe just some weird little production gimmicks. It might set a mood, but it’s never a lovely listening experience. But Youth Lagoon, on the first track of his new album Wondrous Bughouse, can’t even manage to be displeasing for two minutes. The flighty little touches and musical flares on Through Mind and Back are slightly weird, yes. But they also form a little melody on their own, and then they lead into the proper first song of the album, Mute. Even Youth Lagoon’s strangest moments are purely cohesive.
Speaking of Mute, it’s just the latest confirmation of Youth Lagoon’s boundless talent. At its core, it’s an incredibly accessible pop song. The singing is great – not too clean, but stark as can be. And the production surrounding the song might be weird, but it’s easier to digest than any “weird production” from an artist you’ll hear. Youth Lagoon might be making his art in a traditionally strange genre, but he just can’t help but be listenable.
So, Trevor Powers is just one person. But songs he makes are as interesting, weighty, and listenable as something ten guys in a room would come up with. And nothing is too intense, or too thick to understand. It’s just refreshing, honest, and pretty music.
Thanks for reading! If you end up listening to the music from this article, please let me know how you liked it! I always love to hear your opinions, even (and especially) if they differ from my own. You can tweet at me @RobinCopple1, or contact me through my email. Don’t be shy! See you next time. Keep listening to music!
Image Credit: Youth Lagoon / Fat Possum Records