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Youth Lagoon "Wondrous Bughouse" Review

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Its always hard to top a good debut, fortunately Youth Lagoon's sophomore release entitled "Wondrous Bughouse" plunge's you into the absurdist/surreal/creative brain that is the man behind the band Trevor Powers. This record's unexpected vast instrumentation, unforgettably lush melodies and, like most of Youth Lagoon song's, incredibly hard to understand vocals really immerses you into Power's very own conscious as he describes the complications of death and life.The first single released from the record "Dropla" describes the beginning of life and the end while in between chanting through the chorus "You will never die, you will never die" over and over again. The songs over arcing melody only growing and expanding with trippy synthesizers and an array of effects that can't even be described on paper but only heard on the song itself. For all of the poets out there, while the lyrics are very poetic this is not an album to listen to for its lyrics. The overall moods and shapes are formed throughout the album's instrumentation, the track "Through Mind and Back" serves as the shortest song on the album, giving you a trippy portal to enter into the second song "Mute" which twists and turns from a very bright spacey march into a trippy and sluggish stroll as the effects become more and more vast. Other tracks like "Pelican Man" and "The Bath" have a mysterious grandness about them while tunes such as "Attic Doctor" or "Raspberry Cane" branch out on the lighter psychedelic side. In comparison to his last record "Year of Hibernation" Youth Lagoon reinvents his sound, growing in musicianship and overall original songwriting, unafraid to be weird even if its for the sake of being weird. While "Wondrous Bughouse" may not be what we were expecting (especially in comparison to his debut "Year of Hibernation) Youth Lagoon has truly proven he is an artist to be reckoned with, making a less accessible but still remarkable record.

Rec Tracks: Dropla, Mute, Attic Doctor, Pelican Man, Raspberry Cane

Listen if you like: Tame Impala, Animal Collective, The Beatles (Sgt Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour Era), Beach House, Purity Ring

By Nathan Mechtel