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

Teeth: Whatever

Ok, strangest and somehow worse cover I’ve seen in a long time, seriously. I expected Teeth from Filipino, the grunge band which was formed in 1993, bit after the real grunge-boom so they somehow missed the wave and won’t be recognized by many. Though they made three albums but then they vanished to thin air. Anyway this is not the Filipino one, it’s a new band from East London, playing a nintendo-ish form of dance-punk. Despite of the ugly cover art I’ll give it a spin.

First song Confusion started with some keyboard noise and an angered girls voice. The pace is punk-ish and the melodies are noisy and crazy, like the start. U R 1 is in the same style, same pace and arcade melodies. The whole thing gets even more cheesy with the third song Care Bear, you really can call it arcade-punk though this can’t be serious. The ‘fun’ goes on with Dead Boys, started promising, turned into the same paddle soundscape. If they wanted people to go postal to their sound they just did something wrong, at least in my opinion. Time Changes spares us with bad keyboard noise and brought out a catchy one, thank god. Liked the song somehow, don’t know why though.

As we’re talking about time and next song’s called This Time as well, I recognized one half’s almost over. So This Time again lacks of good melodies and choruses, with the last half minute you could do something well though. Pill Programm finally was some decent noise and I catched myself singin along ‘Watch what you say’. And surprise i also liked See Spaces, the next track which settled down the pace for the first time and did something noisewave-like. Flowers was previously released so I already knew this song. It was actually pretty good and that was why I decided to review this album and I have to say it’s still one of the catchiest tunes on Whatever. Last track Street Jams is an ‘instrumental’ track. Ah, it’s over finally.

After all it wasn’t that bad, the second half was indeed much better than the first except Confusion, which is along with Flowers, See Spaces and Pill Programm.. It did not thrilled me though. People might like this and if you want to check it out, do it. It’s just that you could leave half of the songs and could do a decent EP, that would have turned out better.

  • 5/10

Video: Neon Indian ‘Polish Girl’

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

mp3: M83 ‘Raconte-moi Une Histoire’

Listen to M83’s new song Raconte-moi Une Histoire off upcoming Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. It’s the third single along with Intro (ft. Zola Jesus) and Midnight City. Listen to Raconte-moi Une Histoire here.

New Video: Youth Lagoon ‘Montana’

Editor: Tyler T Williams (from upcoming record The Year of Hibernation out September 27th on Fat Possum)

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