Youth Lagoon - Heaven Is A Junkyard

Regular price $ 31.99

After a strong run between 2010 and 2016, Idaho-bred musician Trevor Powers temporarily ceased making music as Youth Lagoon, the nostalgic and psychedelically tinged bedroom pop project with which he'd created three critically acclaimed albums. Heaven Is a Junkyard marks Powers' return to the Youth Lagoon moniker, continuing the clearer production he left off with on 2015's Savage Hills Ballroom, and leaning into gentler, almost Americana-styled instrumentals that seem to take root in grounded emotional states. Throughout the album, soft piano intermingles with found sounds, samples, laid-back drum grooves, and occasional unobtrusive electronic elements as Powers spins opaque lyrics about troubled families, open skies, and images that evoke the feeling of life in the heartland. This formula becomes its own kind of flyover pop on the album's best songs, with "Idaho Alien" and "Prizefighter" coming one after another and feeling like continuations of each other's affable hooks and softly melancholic melodic sensibilities. The stripped-down ballad "The Sling" consists mainly of piano and lonely vocals before a haunted chorus and stirring strings come in to push the song's wounded feel to its conclusion. There are still hints of the washed-out nostalgia of earlier Youth Lagoon material in the cloudy glow of ambient interlude "Lux Radio Theater" or the distant drum loops and wobbly lo-fi processing of "Mercury" but by and large, Heaven Is a Junkyard finds Powers in pastoral mode. Even in its most orchestrated moments, the album feels primarily reflective and still, like Powers is gazing out on a silent field of wheat and offering us a look into his brain as the thoughts, memories, and scattered hopes all float by.

1 Rabbit
A2 Idaho Alien
A3 Prizefighter
A4 The Sling
A5 Lux Radio Theatre
B6 Deep Red Sea
B7 Trapeze Artist
B8 Mercury
B9 Little Devil From The Country
B10 Helicopter Toy