Friday, October 14, 2011

"The Year of Hibernation" by Youth Lagoon

The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon was
released on September 27, 2011 on Fat Possum Records
Youth Lagoon is the brainchild of twenty-two year old Trevor Powers from Boise, Idaho.  Though he may be young, his music contains a depth and maturity far beyond his years.  Though the music is filled with dreamy, poppy sounds that are saturated in reverb, there's much more than what's on the surface with The Year of Hibernation.  The album chronicles Trevor Powers' past and present, coating the album with a feeling of instant nostalgia, but containing enough personality of it's own to allow you to truly immerse yourself in these songs.

The instrumentation is fantastic, downright entrancing.  It's easy to find yourself lost in the layers that have been excellently mixed, in the bedroom of a friend at that.  The Year of Hibernation shines with "Afternoon" which conveys much of the albums general theme, an entrancing bit of instrumentation with eerily haunting lyrics that begin to resonate more and more with every listen.  The best part of The Year of Hibernation is not only that it's a comprehensive and coherently flowing album, but there's not a single dull moment throughout its entirety.  There's something comforting in the absolute sincerity of the lyricism though, it's clear that Powers went deep into his thoughts and emotions in the creative process of this album, filled with references of demons, lost loves, and head sicknesses, there's a crippling amount of honesty displayed.  Tracks like the opener, "Poster" contain the lyrics, "Started getting older, I took it on myself/To find out why I'm the way I am/But I can't find a conclusion, no I think I'm getting closer/Yeah I know I'm getting closer, my whole wall is filled with posters."  That's where the feelings of nostalgia kick into effect and that's also where you get the startling realization that Powers is still a mere twenty-two years old whilst writing these beautiful compositions.  There's a childlike innocence displayed in much of the albums lyricism and that's what makes all of these feelings so much more attainable.

The title of this album is fitting, it's an album that you can huddle up inside of your room and blast in headphones or speakers and just completely hibernate from the world.  It represents a fear of growing up and fear of adulthood that everyone has experienced at least once in their life, it's a relateable concept that is executed perfectly with Powers' brilliant knack for writing incredibly catchy melodies that don't fall into dull repetition, but rather take a poetic form.  While the structures and forming of the songs begin to bleed together in how similar they are, they follow with relatively similar drumbeats, similar tempos, similar instrumentation, but it doesn't make the album truly suffer because of it's length and it's cohesion.  While the theme of innocence and youth is a common and almost surefire way to get people listening due to it's relateability, Youth Lagoon is a standout because of how memorable some of the lines truly are.  Hidden throughout these childlike filters are some true gems, much like can be found in "17" with, "When I was seventeen my mother said to me/'Don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die".

The Year of Hibernation may only be eight tracks long, but these eight tracks are just enough needed to paint the pictures conveyed amongst the lines of the album.  It's a perfect winter album, it weighs in just over half an hour and contains the depth and build that's needed to really take to an album.  The bits of personal nostalgia thrown in by Trevor Powers works wonders on the blissful daydreamers mind, taking you back to a place and time of your own whether it be as dark as the lyricism or as bright as the instrumentation.  One of the year's highlights without a doubt.

Rating: 9.1/10
Standout Tracks: "July", "Seventeen", "Afternoon"

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