Trevor Powers has resurrected his Youth Lagoon project for a new album called Heaven is a Junkyard, his first under the moniker since 2015, which will arrive on June 9 through Fat Possum. He says that the album 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.”
The first song to be shared from it is “Idaho Alien”, with Powers saying: “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. 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.”
The private investigator eye comes across in Powers’ quiet observations about the world around him and the people coming and going in their daily routines. Over his trusty piano’s spindly notes and precise sample use, he paints a detailed picture of a small but complex world, filled with hopes, fears and secrets under every stone. The chorus brings an unsettlingly uplifting lilt to images of blood filling up a claw-foot bath; Powers can’t remember how it happened, but it brings him peace. In the world of Youth Lagoon, it all makes sense.
Watch the video for “Idaho Alien” below or find it on streamers.