Heaven Is a Junkyard by Youth Lagoon album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


Heaven Is a Junkyard

Youth Lagoon

We are revisiting some of the albums we loved in 2023

“Heaven is a junkyard / And I am home,” Trevor Powers sings off his new album of the same name, in a return to his Youth Lagoon moniker, released on Fat Possums Records. This is an event, signaling a comeback of sorts, and hearing his voice in the first few measures of the album brought the memories flooding back. Savage Hills Ballroom from 2015 was an experimental revelation that changed my view of music and what it could accomplish forever.

This album, which is ten tracks, has all of the desperate seeking and unique expression that made his older albums hits in the indie, experimental community. “Something stalks me / Drink what the water flows,” he sings towards the end of the album. The genius of Powers’ explorations is his honesty about the demons and angels that he finds at every turn in his life. With songs about suicide attempts, like “Idaho Alien,” songs about his tight knit family of brothers who hated and loved each other growing up, like “Prizefighter,” the Biblical allusive track, “Deep Red Sea,” where he sings, “You spread that blood like butter.”

He is a spiritual seeker, but has an artist’s way of approaching it, using metaphors like a “Helicopter Toy” (“Will the wind destroy / The helicopter toy?”), and like the title of the record communicates he sees the paradoxical nature of love and God. The songs are satisfying in their experimental but catchy construction, sometimes borrowing from experimental hip hop, with his quickly delivered poetry and moody beats.

This record will be on many of your ten list for the year, because of its rawness, because of its polish. Because of Powers’ compelling honesty and artifice, and his deep-feeling search into the beauty and terror of life. One boy from Idaho’s take on the nitty gritty of life. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s junkyard is another man’s heaven. Heaven is a junkyard is a great comeback record.

order by Youth Lagoon HERE


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