We usually use these Introducing… features to highlight unsigned bands/artists that, we feel, stand out from the endless amount of music we are sent here at GFP. This was the case when we first spoke to Trevor Powers – aka Youth Lagoon – only a couple of weeks ago. However, since that time the DIY multi-instrumentalist has signed to the rather-great Fat Possum records and announced that his debut album is being readied for a September release.
At the end of last year we named Learning by Perfume Genius as one of our records of the year and there are certainly shades of that album in the music that Trevor makes. Tender ballads delivered in a haze of electro-pop; the magic of his music lies in the way that he builds his songs on layers of reverb, handclaps and his bruised, aching vocals. If that all sounds a little over the top, I promise you it really isn’t. It’s hard to think of a time when a pair of give-away songs had such an effect on this listener.
A third song, Montana, recently surfaced on Youth Lagoons Soundcloud page and, we’re pleased to say, it more than holds it’s own against the two songs that have done so much to build up his reputation thus far. GoldFlakePaint caught up with Trevor to find out a little more about his musical background and how pleased he has been with the reaction to his bedroom-made music…
Hi Trevor, how is Summer 2011 treating you?
Wonderful! Beautiful weather in Boise ID these days and I’m just enjoying my time at home.
What does an average day for you consist of at present?
Usually I sleep in a bit (since I have a problem going to bed before 1 am), practice or write music, answer my e-mails, talk on the phone with my management about random details, and then go hang out with some friends. It’s kind of a waiting game for me at this point since tours are still being lined up, but I am very much appreciating the time I have at home.
Youth Lagoon is a one-man project right? Where did the name come from?
Yeah it is a one-man project. I do however play with a guitarist live. My friend Erik Eastman has been playing Boise shows with me, but since he can’t tour, another buddy of mine Logan Hyde has learned all the parts and is ready to hit the road with me. The name really just comes from a mindset of nostalgia and memories. My songs are fueled by things of my past. So when I was thinking of what to name this project, the idea of youth kept coming to mind. I had this mental picture of all these kids swimming around in this remote water hole and so I thought the name Youth Lagoon seemed to be a perfect fit.
Have you been pleased with the reaction to your music so far?
VERY! I’m honestly really surprised this many people are taking interest to it. I just try to write honest music so that is probably why people can relate to it. I am thrilled at the reaction.
When did you first start making music? Can you remember the first song you wrote?
I first started writing music when I was just a kid. I took piano lessons for about 6 years. I can’t remember offhand the first song I wrote but I can assure you that my music now sounds completely different. (laughs)
Your music sounds quite…insular. Has your music always sounded that way?
When I started this project and started writing those songs, I tried to just write what I was feeling. I can’t say it was really a conscious decision, but more so from my subconscious. I sit down at a piano and write what’s in my mind.
What can you tell us about your music background? (First record bought, heroes etc…)
I always claim my first real musical hero to be Elvis. My dad had a lot of Elvis cassettes when I was growing up so I always use to jam to those. Also, I remember stumbling on a Beach Boys cassette as a kid and being enthralled by it. (laughs)
Are there any plans for a physical release sometime soon? You’re recording your album now right?
My debut album “The Year of Hibernation” will be released on Sep. 27th on Fat Possum Records. Can’t wait!
Whats the plan for the rest of the year?
Touring and working hard!
* * *
You can download July and Cannons for FREE from Youth Lagoons Bandcamp page.