Gear Talks: Youth Lagoon

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Gear Talks: Youth Lagoon

Youth Lagoon
Words by Benjamin Lamb

Trevor Powers chats bringing back the Youth Lagoon moniker, medical emergencies and his new album.

Youth Lagoon has been a staple of the contemporary alternative music scene for a number of years, releasing records and hitting the road between 2010 – 2016, before dropping music under his own name, Trevor Powers. 2023 saw him bring back the Youth Lagoon moniker, and drop a new record, Heaven is A Junkyard. Back in 2023, we caught up with Powers to chat about it all.

Youth Lagoon

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“I feel incredible,” Trevor says. “It is an odd sensation to have something that has been only mine for so long seeing the light of day.

“There’s been nothing but excitement on my end. I also haven’t had, I haven’t had too much time to overthink things because I’ve been so busy with, with rehearsals getting ready for the tour.”

Powers is about to hit the road in North America, and rehearsals and set planning are currently all in full swing.

“We started rehearsing about two months ago, everything is shaping up in this way I want, I was a little anxious on how to approach the live set, being able to do the record justice. But once we got into things and we were able to find new ways to present things. 

There’s no question that the last few years has been difficult for all in the world of arts, but in Trevor’s world, a medical emergency that impacted his vocal cords somewhat dampened his relationship with music.

Trevor Powers

“My whole body essentially turned into a prison, and everything turned upside down.

“I lost my voice for months on end. I had lost this sense of identity with who I thought it was. But what it taught me is that I never was that identity. I’m not this, I’m not this, this person that I always thought I was.”

The sense of identity is an important part of both Youth Lagoon and Trevor Powers’ music as a whole. With Powers feeling that while Youth Lagoon is a familiar entity, he was able to move back into the world of the project with a new point of view.  

“It’s interesting because there’s a familiarity to it, it’s a vehicle that I’ve driven around in before, but who I am as a person is so dramatically different, and my inspirations are different.

“One of the things that I’ve been most excited about with speaking through this moniker, again, is having that sense of history or foundation that I can use to my advantage and I can keep adding dimensions to it, it makes it way more of a thrill.”

While it may seem like getting back on a bike after years away, Powers notes that there was no re-learning the world of Youth Lagoon, rather bringing it back in a completely new way.

“What made this whole idea of playing around in this playground so compelling was that I could approach it from this other angle. It wasn’t this master plan that I had it was just seemed to have slowly developed over time.

“There’s so much of it that I don’t even I don’t even recognise because I’ve taken this part of my brain that I declared dead for a lot of different reasons which were necessary at the time, and now combined it with who I am as a person now so it’s like taking this discarded lumber and putting it together with something fresh, new and exciting.

“I was working on all these songs that they didn’t fit anything, and I could sense I could sense something deeper there, but I couldn’t recognise what it was, and over time, I just had these things happen in my personal life that that showed me new things I wasn’t expecting.” 

“If you’re in tune with the present moment, there’s always there’s always much better accidents in the unexpected rather than the expected.”

Youth Lagoon album

Besides the medical event that inspired the music we hear throughout Heaven Is a Junkyard, this record also saw Powers move back to his native Idaho, an interesting Mecca, Trevor explaining it what it’s like, and how much of it shaped who he is and the music he creates.

“It’s beyond beautiful. But in that beauty is also an equal amount of desolation, there’s so many different corners and angles to it, there’s a lot of people I know, that have just driven through parts of Idaho and hated it, because they weren’t in tune with that kind of beauty. They couldn’t recognise the dead tall grass has its own charm and magic. 

“There’s just so many interesting people here, retired carnies that live down the street from me, meth addicts who live next door, and every single person has their own story. they have their own love and beauty, addictions and pain, all these things coexisting at once, and they can each teach you something if you’re willing to learn.”

Heaven is A Junkyard is out now.