Youth Lagoon– Islington Assembly Hall
(Nov 1, 203)
Moving from gentle “bedroom-pop” on his first album (‘The Year of Hibernation‘), Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) expanded his sound to include bits of psych, shoegaze, experimental and electronic on his second album (‘Wondrous Bughouse‘). He then realized he needed a live band to take this sound on the road, and spend a few months working to translate it. Man was it WORTH THE WAIT…
Of the entire set, Cannons was one of my favorites (see video below). The live electric guitar trailing the beautiful keyboard intro makes this Youth Lagoon track even more powerful than it already was. Wow. Chills, the ENTIRE TIME.
Another standout was Seventeen, my favorite track on the first album. The main verse SLAY MES every time:
“When I was seventeen, my mother said to me
Don’t stop imagining
The day that you do is the day that you die.”
The “don’t stop imagining” lyric is so simple but SO FREAKIN’ POWERFUL, I it’s something I was even thinking about getting tattooed. Anytime I’ve felt down and depressed, it’s usually because I’ve lost faith in my own imagination. Sometimes our “dreams are the only things that save us.” (spoken from the wise folk of Arcade Fire)
One of the major standout tracks from the newer album was Dropla, and although it came a bit later in the set, it was well worth the wait. The whirling keyboards leave you with a heightened sense of anxiety/anticipation as Powers sings “You’ll never die” over and over again. He then lashes out, “you weren’t there, when I needed…” revealing inner vulnerabilities that you can’t help emphasize with. A creepy song that whirls your emotions like a merry-go-round! “But you’ll never die, you’ll never die, you’ll never die…”
Aside from Cannons, Seventeen, and Dropla, other favorite tracks include: July, Montana, Mute, and Daisyphobia.
I enjoyed the show so much that I wanted to stick around and say thank you to Trevor, who actually happens to be first cousins with my friend Tyler from Austin, TX. I’m so glad I waited, because not only did Trevor laugh at the inside joke that Tyler told me to tell him, but he was SO appreciative of my support and spent time talking to about his musical beginnings. Not only was he one of the nicest and most engaging artists that I’ve met, but his CINDERELLA STORY is one of the most fascinating I’ve heard. Raised by a very sports-driven family (except his grandma who he said he used to rock the keys with), he was quite keen on making a career out of baseball (who knew?), his first love. But during high school, he started getting more into music (already had 6 years of piano lessons), and decided to pursue that love full force. With the purchase of some loops pedals, a synthesizer, and a guitar (which he learned to play himself), the brilliant, organic solo project of Youth Lagoon was born. Endless hours of experimentation and a “year of hibernation” (pun intended) led to the birth of his first album, which was never meant for selling records. He writes music for “himself first,” because he “has to.” “Writing music is how I sort my thoughts, as well as where I transfer my fears,” he says. With $1000 in hand, he set out on a northwest coast tour, most of which was a bust (especially in Seattle, where not one person walked into the coffee shop he was playing at). Sometime later, when he was enjoying Sasquatch music festival with his gf (now wife), he told her, “I’m gonna be up there on stage one day. I promise you.” Well, NOT ONLY did Trevor perform at Sasquatch this year, but he’s performed many other famous festivals all over the globe. Three years ago he was busking for money TO SURVIVE, and yesterday he played PITCHFORK, one of the largest and most prestigious music festivals in the world. How about that for a CINDERELLA STORY. ❤
Scroll to the bottom to see me kicking it with Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) after his INCREDIBLE and far out (yes, it certainly took me to another dimension) on Friday night. 😀