Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

Trevor Powers’ second full-length as Youth Lagoon is imminent, and comes with the squishy psychedelic title Wondrous Bughouse. True to form, then, the album’s second single “Mute” is an expansive, six-minute odyssey of psych-pop, with chunky, heavily processed keyboards and vocals that drip with reverb while the soundscape around it oscillates and spirals into some wonderland weirdness. It’s full of the sort of slow-paced rainbow-colored boom-bap vamping you’d get from the Lips, and to the extent it is designed to tickle your ears while infusing a little anthemic melodrama, it is a thoroughly successful six-minute work of beauty. Hear it:

Wondrous Bughouse is out 3/5 via Fat Possum. Pre-order it here.

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Comments (12)
  1. I don’t know, I feel like everyone is trying to convince me that mediocre music is something better than it is this year. I like Youth Lagoon, but haven’t been transfixed by any of the new material so far. Maybe he should open up for Justin Timberlake, or something… It seems like everyone is on LSD over that guy’s new material, when the reality is he made a few great singles on Future Sex / Love Sounds but is really just a former member of N’Sync that has reverted back to mediocre pop.

    • Yep. Listened to that Mirrors song today and honestly I think the new album is going to be a big flop. He finally reached his Christina Aguilera moment (looks like her last two records never existed – no one even noticed them). And I doubt that without Pitchfork BNM’ing him and choosing My Love as the best song of 2006 (which is ridiculous) he would be so popular among indie kids now.

      • In the Mumford defense article last week, there was a obviously a lot of heat over the topic, and while I think it’s always nice to look at shit like that from a cultural perspective, I definitely understand why anyone would be upset over endorsing it from a quality perspective. These days, it’s as big sites like Stereogum (might as well throw SPIN in there alongside them since they’re one in the same now) and Pitchfork — who were founded on the basis of endorsing independent music that was being white noised out of the room by the mainstream music industry — are now doing an about-face on banal pop, and now trying to convince their independent-minded readers that they have it wrong again, that pop music is where it’s at. It’s like that Portlandia bit where the Fred Armisen character with the soul patch and ear gauges keeps seeing a square doing everything he’s doing that’s trendy, so he quits it, until eventually Fred’s soul patch guy is the square and the square is the soul patch guy.

        Where are the days when SPIN put Beyonce on their cover, and everyone flipped their shit, cancelled their subscriptions and the Editor got fired? That needs to happen again.

        • Also, the fact that you can’t even comment on Timberlake’s “Mirrors” they just posted on top of last night’s censorship of the “BUZZ” word which shall not be named makes me believe there’s some serious skeezy promotional money-making face-saving antics going on around these parts these days, and it’s not even about the music or discourse over it, but rather getting paid to help big artists advance their bottom lines.

  2. You certainly have opinions, Michael. I’m glad there’s the internet for you.

    • Opinions, pent up frustration that’s channeled into negative-sounding commentary on Stereogum… Whichever you choose to call it.

  3. It seems like Tame Impala sort of kickstarted a psychedelic renaissance of sorts. I predict that over the next couple of years, we will be hearing many bad Pink Floyd rip-offs.

  4. This record is going to be something special.

  5. I’m a little meh on this one as well.

    Youth Lagoon is cool, and I’m hoping that the new album will be as good as his last one, but this song just isn’t that interesting. I’m not detecting real growth in the songwriting; it kind of just sounds like he got a new synthesizer and is having fun with all of the squiggly samples.

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