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October 7, 2011

Album Review: Youth Lagoon ‘The Year of Hibernation’

by @thoughtontracks

Potatoes, Blue Football Fields, Potatoes, BCS Hopes, Built to Spill, and more POTATOES! These are the first thoughts that come to mind when thinking about Boise, Idaho.  Once, a town known strictly for potato production has quickly GROWN into a city with high hopes. Expanding culture and a new found winning identity has gradually pushed this town to adopt a new mentality. Boise indie-rock legends Built to Spill made dreaming acceptable. Their 1997 album Perfect from Now On followed by their 1999 EP Center of the Universe assisted in laying down the foundation.  Shortly after their name was established and ripe the Boise State Football Broncos made dreaming a reality.  The improbable upset in the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl of national powerhouse Oklahoma put Boise on the map.  Football aside, it helped project the idea that anything is possible anywhere.  Think of all the delicious sides that can be made with the potato. Examine cheesy mashed potatoes, French fries, sweet potatoes with caramelized onion, twice baked, skinned, hashed, smothered, covered, and even peppered. While the base remains the same the opportunities for variation and progression exist.  22-year-old Boise native Trevor Powers slices the spud his own way. It is this innovation that helps continue to bring optimism to this TaterTown that once just thought in starched reality.

Trevor Powers is the young mind behind his project Youth Lagoon.  Signed to famous indie label Fat Possum, Youth Lagoon released its first LP The Year of Hibernation in September.  Quickly picked up on blogs and played on major indie outlets such as Sirius XMU, Powers began to gain notoriety for his honesty.  The Year of Hibernation is a free pass into  Powers’ mind. I reflect and wonder how many other talented musicians have these abilities not only in Boise, but towns much smaller across our country? Untapped growth without the proper progression tools exists all around us. This is why Youth Lagoon’s should be recognized.  Powers’ drive should inspire us. The vulnerability of his message should resonate with us. The title of his album is either extremely ironic or Powers is in fact resting after spending a year giving us this gift.  This album floats just fine in anyone’s sea of reflection. He allows for his mind to enter our minds. He leaves me with the idea to just go.

Songs, “Cannons” and “Seventeen” stand out as the sails behind this ship.  These two songs help to extend Powers’ message and make an eight song release sound much more full. The best advice I can give is not to sleep on The Year of Hibernation. Youth Lagoon is one of those artists that I appreciate.  This could be all we hear from him, but at least he made something that I had to write about. Inspired intimacy. Beautiful. His message should not only go out to the good indie rock loving folk who read this blog, but also to the great people of the city of Boise.  Think outside the potato, and the opportunities are endless.

Written by Brett McGrath

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