Published Aug 14, 2018You may be familiar with the work of Trevor Powers under the name Youth Lagoon. Having ended that project in 2016, Powers has revamped his style and sound into an artistry that is progressive and exudes confidence in his new musical direction. His debut, Mulberry Violence, is a bone-shaking, experimental collection of Powers' unanticipated evolution as a musician.
The ominous and eerie mood of the record is inspired by the travels Powers embarked on during his hiatus. His trip to the Czech Republic, specifically to the famous skull church embellished with human bones, gave inspiration to the epic opener "XTQ Idol." Blunt piano chords under the layered and static vocals set the dark tonal atmosphere to the rest of the record.
Second on the album is "Dicegame"; having created six other demos before finally making the cut, Powers claims no other version was honest. He sings "finally, I accept myself / flawed, with nothing figured out / that's the truth I've hunted for." Raw and poetic, his lyrics convey a sense of striving to be better. Harsh beats and textures, "Pretend It's Confetti" is the weakest track on the record. An entire song of what is reminiscent of radio interference, this piece has a haunting feel to it, but never builds to an enjoyable listening experience.
Mulberry Violence does not stray far from Powers' roots in Youth Lagoon; he continues to rely on dreamy synths and soaring high-pitch vocals, but this time expanding into the territory of electronic experimental pop. Powers has found the perfect balance between melodic sounds and a darker aesthetic, making his new creative endeavours come more into focus. (Independent)