Many years ago, I interviewed a young Idaho psych-pop auteur named Trevor Powers for a Pitchfork Rising piece. I don’t remember too much about our conversation, but I do remember asking him why in the hell you would call yourself “Youth Lagoon” when you have a perfectly awesome given name like Trevor Powers. Years later, Powers has seen the light. Two years ago, Powers retired the Youth Lagoon project. And now he’s getting ready to release his first album under his own name.
Later this summer, Powers will release the new LP Mulberry Violence. We’ve already posted his “Playwright” video and his two-song burst “Ache” and “Plaster Saint.” Today, Powers has shared two more songs, both of them spacey and melodic and contemplative. Talking about “XTQ Idol,” the first of those songs, Powers tells The FADER this:
Early in the process of forming Mulberry Violence, I took a trip to the Czech Republic & visited Sedlec Ossuary, a small Roman Catholic church elaborately adorned with the bones of 40,000 people ::: many of whom died from the plague. Garlands of skulls. Crosses of femurs. Chalices of hipbones. A chandelier made from every bone in the human skeleton. This was all constructed as a way to honor the dead. For me, it was a labyrinth of mirrors. My reflection multiplied thousands of times in front of me, & I couldn’t look away. I saw myself as I really was. Trembling, I said a hushed prayer. Each turn showed me there was no escape from how it all ends; beneath this skin & without this spirit was just another heap of bones. As the tension through my muscles eventually lessened, a peculiar peace washed over me. My problems shrunk. My stress diminished. My pain was temporary. Maybe one day someone will use my tibia in a human chandelier.. ? I can only dream. Late that night, I started “XTQ Idol.”
And on “Dicegame,” he says:
My favorite painter, the existential outcast Francis Bacon, described a work by saying, “It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another.” This is entirely how I function — shaping ideas for weeks or months that lead absolutely nowhere.. it’s not until I fuck up & do something totally inadvertent that the path finally begins to glow. The mistake is always more captivating than the intention. “Dicegame” had 6 other versions before it. All of them different; none of them honest. The entryway refused to accept any of my passcodes; it wasn’t until the big blunder came & I typed that into the keypad that the gate finally swung open. I chased the accident, mutated it, made more mistakes along the way, viscerally put them together, & the song finally had life.
Check out both songs below:
Mulberry Violence is out 8/17 on Baby Halo.