After eight years, Trevor Powers is ready to return to Youth Lagoon. The artist has announced a new album, Heaven Is a Junkyard, out June 9th via Fat Possum, and shared the project’s first single, “Idaho Alien.”
Powers released three albums as Youth Lagoon before retiring the moniker in 2016, announcing that the project was “a space I no longer inhabit, nor want to inhabit.” Now, however, the dream pop artist reveals, “Youth Lagoon was never the chokehold. I was.”
The musician cites a harrowing reaction to an over-the-counter drug that coated his throat with a “non-stop geyser of acid” for freeing him from the shackles of self-loathing and inspiring him to revive Youth Lagoon. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to speak again, let alone sing,” Powers said in a statement. “It all felt symbolic in a way. I’d been swallowing fear all my life and now here it was coming back up.”
With Heaven Is a Junkyard, co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald, Youth Lagoon looks inward, writing about the characters populating his own life rather than making grand statements about the world at large. “I’ve always written about far away things, but the best material has been right in front of me this whole time in Idaho,” Powers said.
“Idaho Alien” trades Youth Lagoon’s past electronic stylings for more traditional piano. The gentle keys unite with Powers’ soft voice to make the track surprisingly poignant, especially as it tells the story of a strained father-son relationship with lines like “Daddy come home and Daddy’s on junk.” Listen to the single below.
Pre-orders for Heaven Is a Junkyard are ongoing. Youth Lagoon’s last album was 2015’s Savage Hills Ballroom, while Powers has since released the solo works Capricorn and Mulberry Violence.
Heaven Is a Junkyard Artwork:
Heaven Is a Junkyard Tracklist:
02. Idaho Alien
04. The Sling
05. Lux Radio Theatre
06. Deep Red Sea
07. Trapeze Artist
09. Little Devil From the Country
10. Helicopter Toy