Youth Lagoon: The Year Of Hibernation

When the year began Trevor Powers started making music in his bedroom at Boise State, Idaho. Powers said, he must write songs because there would be so many things in his head that would hunt him, so he sings about problems, fear and veils it in beautiful melodies and soundscapes. As he put some mp3 on his MySpace, Youth Lagoon soon got recognized by Pitchfork and suddenly was mentioned on blogs everywhere. Then he signed to Fat Possum as they realized Year Of Hibernation is going to explode when it’s coming out, so they did. And so it is.

With the current hype of new-forming chillwave- and electronica-bands you really have to sort out the great ones. Fortunately there are enough to mention like I Break Horses, Active Child, Purity Ring or the now focused Youth Lagoon. They all brought great debuts out 2011, a year where everybody seems to get his money’s worth. There weren’t as much revivals of presumed dead genres and upcoming music ever and I think this year will be recognized in the future as a about-face in the right direction of music.

So Year Of Hibernation is an 8-track-record and I soaked every single minute of it, starting with Afternoon. Powers’ style of making music is a very mute one but very effective. Every song is a build-up to get the listeners the best thrills they every had. So Afternoon is followed by Cannons, previously seen on the internet as most of the tracks couriously appeared on YouTube, few released by Powers itself, few taken from leaks. I plead guilty by spinning Year Of Hibernation about twenty times before it officially was released but I’ll definitely going to buy this. So Cannons is another highlight out of eight on this album, there’s simply no bad song on this. Daydream starts catchy, ends with beautiful shoutings and melodies. The following tracks July and Montana are two of my favourite songs of 2011. July starts nearly mute but still listenable keyboards and murmuring vocals, ends up with another great build-up, done perfectly. Beautiful, beautiful tunes. Montana is even better, one of the most beautiful and sad tunes I have ever heard in a long time. I also love the music video to Montana, which understood the song perfectly in my opinion. I always get thrills all over my body when I listen to this piece of art.

Posters is another great track with prefect happy-melancholic melodies and Powers’ voice I already took to heart. Seventeen handles from his youth as a teenager, when he ‘hunted snakes’ and his mother said to him ‘Don’t stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die.’ The last track on Year Of Hibernation is called The Hunt. I did not really got the lyrics but the themes are something like loving and subjection. It’s a beautiful ending for a beautiful record, a highlight in 2011 and lovely piece of art for everyone who loves music.

  • 9.2/10

Video: Washed Out ‘Amor Fati’

Check out Washed Out‘s brand-new video clip for Amor Fati off Within And Without. Watch it below, directed by Yoohna Park. Also purchase the single with another remix of Amor Fati by Clams Casino by clicking on the cover.

[vimeo w=640&h=325]

Neon Indian: Era Extrana

Alan Palomo’s second strike as electronic artist Neon Indian is called Era Extrana. Physic Chasms, his first record, gained high popularity and good critics such as Pitchfork listed it numer 14 of the ’50 greatest albums of 2009′ and Rolling Stones named Neon Indian it ‘one of the hottest new artist of 2010’. I was stoked for this release because I loved Physic Chasms and the new record was teased with several little cuts of the new record such as Heart: Attack which is also the opener for Era Extrana. And so finally it is on the market and we can listen to it, and that’s what I’ll do now.

I really liked the teasers Heart: Attack, Heart: Decay and Heart: Release when they came out and they really fit into the whole album. I also liked Polish Girl, which also was released previously with a music video. But I absolutely loved The Blindside Kiss and Hex Girlfriend, which are my new favourites of him along with Physic Chasms. Cool tracks were also Fallout and the title track Era Extrana, slow and relaxing, just as chillwave should be. Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow) and Future Sick are cool tracks too but Suns Irrupt beats the shit out of them and is another highlight on Era Extrana. Side note, I don’t know but the cover artwork so beautifully fits to the tracks, you could close your eyes while listening to this and you would see these colors passing by. And so we are already at the last track called Arcade Blues. The background melody are the sounds from an old 80’s arcade machine, very nice. I loved these arcades when i was younger and so this track brings up memories, beautiful and sadly at the same time.

This is another great record out of a row of awesome new releases this month and comes next after St. Vincent’s Strange Mercy. I even liked it a bit better than other chillwave appearances like Washed Out’s new record Within And Without or I Break Horses’ record but I have to admit that they did great work on their debut. Neon Indian did two great records in his three years existence and is definitely one of the best chillwave artists out there. He did not changed his sound on this record, he just did what he can do best and I loved it.

  • 8.4/10

Video: Neon Indian ‘Polish Girl’

Neon Indian released a new video off his latest record Era Extrana (stream it here)

Video: Balam Acab ‘Apart’

Brand new video from German experimental act Balam Acab off his new record Wander/Wonder out August 30.

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