03 December 2011

Something 4 The Weekend # 228

Youth Lagoon: The Year Of Hibernation: "Afternoon" [mp3]

I am a huge fan of Bedroom Pop - you know, the kind of stuff that some random dilettante records to 4 or 8-track recorders literally in their bedroom (or basement). I was one of those dilettantes from about 1985 to 2000, slaving over my Tascam 4-track, which is certainly and obviously the main reason this kind of stuff resonates with me.

I am not a huge fan of heavy reverb on recordings. Sometimes it's so off-putting to me that it makes me dislike artists even when I recognize the awesome songs underneath all that 'verb. My Morning Jacket's It Still Moves album is a prime example of this - amazing songs that I couldn't fully enjoy because it was all buried under so much reverb.

These two mindsets that I have are problematic, because soooo much of what constitutes lo-fi Bedroom Pop is absolutely drenched in the effect. So along comes this kid from Idaho, Trevor Powers as Youth Lagoon, who's own lo-fi music is as reverb-heavy as any other music that falls into this category, and it might possibly be the first time I've been able to completely listen past the reverb and actually and fully embrace this kind of recording artist. I love this kid. I love his music and this album totally owns.

I don't know what else needs to be said.

I mean, I often wonder why so many of these Bedroom Pop artists feel the need for so much reverb, and all I can guess is that it's a conscious attempt to obscure some of that low-fidelity inherent in the gear and process, or perhaps it arises out of a certain self-consciousness about the quality of the songs themselves. In the case of Youth Lagoon, I don't think either of these ideas come into play, which is perhaps why I like it so much. I get the sense that Trevor Powers knows exactly what he's doing, that he's not trying to hide anything, and that he's not second-guessing his songs. Instead, his style on this album demands reverb. Requires reverb.

In any event, it's a wonderful album full of great melody and momentum, and I hope you give it a chance - available as a $5 download from Amazon through the end of December. Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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