“Idaho Alien” By Youth Lagoon
Youth Lagoon AKA: Trevor Powers will return on June 9th, with Heaven Is a Junkyard, his first new album in eight years, The full-length drops on June 9th via Fat Possum. Today, Youth Lagoon has treated fans with a new single/video, “Idaho Alien.” In Powers’ own words, “Heaven Is a Junkyard is about all of us. It’s stories of brothers leaving for war, drunk fathers learning to hug, mothers falling in love, neighbors stealing mail, cowboys doing drugs, friends skipping school, me crying in the bathtub, dogs catching rabbits, and children playing in tall grass.” Heaven Is a Junkyard was recorded in six weeks with co-producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Adele, Gil Scott-Heron).
In 2016, Trevor Powers shut the door on Youth Lagoon. “I felt like I was in a chokehold,” he says. “Even though it was my music, I lost my way. In a lot of ways, I lost myself.” Stepping back from the alias, Powers found personal transformation at his home in Idaho and released experimental tapes under his own name (2018’s Mulberry Violence and 2020’s Capricorn). “My mind has always been a devil,” says Powers. “It tells me terrible things—like I’m worthless, ugly, or broken. It’s like a motel TV stuck on a channel that won’t shut off, with static and endless late-night ads and preachers screaming about the end of the world.” In October 2021, something changed the channel.After taking an over-the-counter medication, Powers had a drug reaction so severe it turned his stomach into a “non-stop geyser of acid,” coating his larynx and vocal cords for eight months. “I saw seven doctors and multiple specialists. I lost over thirty pounds. No one could help me,” says Powers. By Christmas, he could no longer speak, turning to text messages and a pen and paper as his only ways to communicate. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to speak again, let alone sing,” he says. “It all felt symbolic in a way,” he adds. “I’d been swallowing fear all my life and now here it was coming back up.”
The growth that followed that nightmare narrowed Powers’ focus. Rather than writing about the world at large, he started writing about home. “Family, neighbors, and grim reapers,” laughs Powers. “I’ve always written about far away things, but the best material has been right in front of me this whole time in Idaho.”
“I’ve always loved old hardboiled crime novels. They’re twisted but pure. ‘Idaho Alien’ comes from that space. Home often feels like a Jim Thompson book,” explains Powers. “One of my neighbors smokes meth all day and mows the lawn at 2:00 am. Her boyfriend lived in a tent in her backyard, and one day she locked him out of the house so he went as far as trying to stab her. He got sent to prison for 10 years. She told me she still loves him, and I told her she deserves better. The last time I asked her not to mow the lawn at 2:00 am, we wound up talking about aliens and Subway sandwiches. Every November, a church group rakes her leaves and tells her about Jesus. I don’t think it’s working.”
Heaven Is A Junkyard
2. Idaho Alien
4. The Sling
5. Lux Radio Theatre
6. Deep Red Sea
7. Trapeze Artist
9. Little Devil from the Country
10. Helicopter Toy
Pre-order Heaven Is A Junkyard by Youth Lagoon HERE
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