Youth Lagoon’s “Savage Hills Ballroom”

Youth Lagoon

Joshua Daniel

Youth Lagoon (stage name for Idaho musician Trevor Powers) has been an apparent secret in the independent lofi circle. His debut album “The Year of Hibernation” was recommended to me by a Silver Platters employee that has, for the most part, sworn off music post 1978, calling it “shite.” Questioning the selection from this particular employee “Really, this… from you…? Are you sure?” After he reassured me of his recommendation I purchased the album. The album was heavy in lofi tendencies and reminded me somewhat of Daniel Johnston. The second album, “Wondrous Bughouse” delved more into my area of psych. I became a believer.
Then something happened. I had a change of plans, sold more than a third of my record collection and swore I would not buy or replace a record unless I loved it. I’ve really stuck to this moto for the last year and it’s working well for me. Though, I have missed out on many limited edition pressings and whatnot, I am more pleased with my music collection. One of my selected purchases happens to be the new Youth Lagoon record “Savage Hills Ballroom”.
The “Savage Hills Ballroom” record is really a swan song of an artist. All the heavy dirges in psych are still there. Production is marked up. Sometimes the guitar reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie. Songwriting is not cheesy like many over produced artists. The songs are well written and lead you in with their leaps and valleys. You can tell by this album that Youth Lagoon is heading places. Who knows where to? Maybe he will cease to be after this point.
You really owe it to yourself to discover this band and this is the record to do it with. I could safely recommend this album to my father and feel good about it. There really is something for everyone on this record. This really simply is an artist masterpiece. BUY THIS RECORD!

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Best of 2013 Staff Picks

bestof2013

By Katie M.

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1. Ty Segall Sleeper

Ty Segall is known for shredding like a mad man and creating catchy guitar riffs, so when I first heard that he was coming out with an acoustic album I was a bit apprehensive. Luckily, this release only further proves Segall to be an increasingly interesting, multi-faceted musician.  The album’s subject matter is weighty: his father recently died, which subsequently led to a strain in his relationship with his mother.  I never imagined that a Ty Segall album could give me chills, but the intimate subject matter makes for his most heartfelt songs to date.

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2. Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin

After hearing Floating Coffin, Thee Oh Sees became my most listened to band of the year. I heard the album in the spring and continued to play it all summer long. At times psychedelic and paranoid and at others melodic, this album makes me excited to see what else this band has in store.

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3. The National Trouble Will Find Me

The National keep releasing great albums and Trouble Will Find Me is no exception. I’m a sucker for Matt Berninger’s deep, rich vocals and existential lyrics. The album doesn’t stray from their idiosyncratic sound, but I’m perfectly content with that because they do it so well.

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4. Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon, which is the nom de plume of 24-year-old Trevor Powers, has a penchant for making excellent bedroom pop. On his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse he explores the human psyche and crafts melodic, poignant songs. For fans of Local Natives, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Animal Collective.

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5. Neil Young Live at the Cellar Door

This album was kept in the vault for 44 years and I’m grateful that it was finally released this year. The recordings come from six solo shows in late November and early December of 1970 and feature Neil Young switching between acoustic guitar and grand piano. The album is raw, beautiful, and intimate and features some of Young’s best songs, such as “Down By the River”, “After the Gold Rush”, and “See the Sky About to Rain”. You seriously can’t go wrong with this album.