Wondrous Bughouse by Youth Lagoon has been receiving tons of positive reviews and is sure to be on many an end-of-the-year top albums list but that doesn't mean I can't recommend it here as well, right? Okay, good. That's what I thought.
23-year-old Trevor Powers hails from Boise, Idaho and has been making music under the Youth Lagoon moniker since 2010. His 2011 debut album, Year of Hibernation, which dealt with psychological dysphoria, was a terrific lo-fi dream pop record filled with songs that started very slow and gradually expanded and intensified. Now, with a more polished sound and production by Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Washed Out, Fanfarlo), Powers brings us an album with big, expansive songs that often start off where those of his debut ended.
According to Powers, Wondrous Bughouse "was influenced by a fear of mortality but embracing it at the same time" and by "becoming more fascinated with the human psyche and where the spiritual meets the physical world." With these metaphysical ideas in mind, along with his meticulously excellent use of the hypnotic and celestial sounds available in today's digital universe, Allen's ability to bring fullness and grandeur to previously smaller sounding artists (see Washed Out or Deerhunter), and Powers' keen ear for developing catchy pop melodies, Youth Lagoon shoots us off into space with this multi-layered dreamy psych-pop record that makes joining Major Tom out there beyond the stars not sound like such a bad idea.
Listen to the first two amazing singles off Wondrous Bughouse below and purchase it here. Get your hands (or just ears) on Youth Lagoon's Year of Hibernation here.