Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
by Allison Walker (Journalism/Cinema Studies), published October 13th 2011
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
I just fell down a rabbit hole listening to Youth Lagoon. On my way down I wasn’t clawing at the sides trying to fight my way back up. In fact, I closed my eyes and smiled. The Year of Hibernation is a dreamy album with a story that runs much deeper than the surface. Boise, Idaho born Trevor Powers has unleashed music seeping with originality from start to finish.
Debilitating anxiety fuels the album, and nothing is tastier to listen to than another person’s struggles. Some tracks start out with twinkling keyboard notes that morph into memorable beats while others bounce along for a dreamy pop sound.
The first song off the album, “Posters,” opens with warping beats and effortless vocals that make you yearn for more. The lyrics unveil a young artist with a great deal of self-doubt about his place in the world, but also one who remains hopeful about the future.
In “Afternoon,” Powers takes advantage of the electronic keyboard and builds up to the track’s grand conclusion. “Montana” is another noteworthy song that uses the same build-up method and is also paired with a well-produced music video.
A quality that aids the separation between Youth Lagoon and other artists is lo-fi recording. Similar to bands like Best Coast and Rogue Wave, Powers’ tracks are put in a fuzzy, distorted trance that gives them raw flavor. A song that utilizes this quality is “Daydream.” The content matches the title by taking you on a ride through the mind of someone lost in his own thoughts. It may be hard to make out the crackling vocals but that’s what makes it more interesting.
The only thing that is questionable about the album is the title. Powers should not consider hibernation–banging pots and pans on a local street corner would be more suitable. Wake up music lovers; you won’t want to miss this.
Recommended Tracks: Montana, Daydream