YOUTH LAGOON – ” Heaven Is a Junkyard ” Best Albums Of 2023

Posted: May 11, 2023 in MUSIC

After releasing two albums under his own given name, Trevor Powers has revived his Youth Lagoon moniker and is releasing a new album under that name, “Heaven Is a Junkyard”, on June 9th via Fat Possum. Now he has shared the album’s third single, “The Sling,” via a music video. Tyler T. Williams directed the video.

Powers had this to say about “The Sling” in a press release: “For years, I’ve been chasing a phantom. This feeling of an unseen world deep inside of me. It’s why I make music. I have a compulsion to understand myself. Or learn to love myself. Maybe that’s the same thing. I’ve been asked by multiple people to describe ‘The Sling’—where does it come from? What does it mean? Every time I start an explanation, I contradict myself. I’d consider it a song about time. And love. That I can say with confidence. I wrote it one night I felt trapped. The next morning I was free.”

When “Heaven Is a Junkyard” was announced, Youth Lagoon shared its first single, “Idaho Alien,” via a music video.

Then he shared the album’s second single, “Prizefighter,” via a music video, and announced he would be playing some tour dates.

As Youth Lagoon, Powers released three excellent albums: 2011’s “The Year of Hibernation”, 2013’s “Wondrous Bughouse”, and 2015’s “Savage Hills Ballroom”.

Then he retired the name in 2016 and released two albums simply as Trevor Powers: 2018’s “Mulberry Violence” and 2020’s surprise-released “Capricorn”.

“I felt like I was in a chokehold,” Powers said in a previous press release of the initial name change. “Even though it was my music, I lost my way. In a lot of ways, I lost myself.”

He added: “My mind has always been a devil. It tells me terrible things—like I’m worthless, ugly, or broken. It’s like a motel TV stuck on a channel that won’t shut off, with static and endless late-night ads and preachers screaming about the end of the world.”

Things took a turn for the worse in October 2021, when Powers had a bad reaction to an over-the counter medicine that a press release says turned his stomach into a “non-stop geyser of acid” and coated Powers “larynx and vocal cords for eight months.”

“I saw seven doctors and multiple specialists. I lost over 30 pounds. No one could help me,” said Powers. By Christmas that year, he could no longer speak. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to speak again, let alone sing,” he said. “It all felt symbolic in a way. I’d been swallowing fear all my life and now here it was coming back up.”

Following this trying time, Powers had a renewed focus on his song writing, writing about home rather than the larger world. “Family, neighbours, and grim reapers,” said Powers. “I’ve always written about far away things, but the best material has been right in front of me this whole time in Idaho.”

That included the album’s first single, “Idaho Alien.” Of the song, Powers said: “I’ve always loved old hardboiled crime novels. They’re twisted but pure. ‘Idaho Alien’ comes from that space. Home often feels like a Jim Thompson book. One of my neighbours smokes meth all day and mows the lawn at 2:00 am. Her boyfriend lived in a tent in her backyard, and one day she locked him out of the house so he went as far as trying to stab her. He got sent to prison for 10 years. She told me she still loves him, and I told her she deserves better. The last time I asked her not to mow the lawn at 2:00 am, we wound up talking about aliens and Subway sandwiches. Every November, a church group rakes her leaves and tells her about Jesus. I don’t think it’s working.”

Summing up the album, Powers added: “Heaven Is a Junkyard” is about all of us. It’s stories of brothers leaving for war, drunk fathers learning to hug, mothers falling in love, neighbours stealing mail, cowboys doing drugs, friends skipping school, me crying in the bathtub, dogs catching rabbits, and children playing in tall grass.”

releases June 9th, 2023

All songs written and performed by Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon). “Heaven Is a Junkyard” Due Out June 9th via Fat Possum

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