Trevor Powers Surprise Releases New Album “Capricorn” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Trevor Powers Surprise Releases New Album “Capricorn”

Capricorn Available Now via Fat Possum

Jul 30, 2020 Trevor Powers Bookmark and Share


Youth Lagoon creator Trevor Powers released his first “solo” album, Mulberry Violence, under his given name—although Youth Lagoon was essentially a one-man show—back in 2018. It’s been quiet two years up until yesterday when Powers surprise released Capricorn, an eight-track ambient LP exclusively available on Bandcamp. Along with the album is a book and cassette with artwork designed by Los Angeles’ Collin Fletcher. The book releasing alongside the album also features a collection of photographs Trevor has taken over the last few years. Stream or order the album below.

What led to the album’s whimsical, but almost terrestrial like sound was an intense moment of pain. After suffering a severe panic attack made his legs numb for a week, Powers sought an escape. “Control is our god,” he says in a press release. “But it’s an illusion. We think we can dictate every day of our lives but that’s like playing chess during an earthquake. Sometimes the pieces move themselves.”

After this Powers hiked to the Sawtooth Mountains in his home state of Idaho. It was there that he found an old piano in a cabin and began composing. The vast vegetation began to inspire him further so he packed his back seats with instruments, cassette recorders, and a computer, and left for a month alone. “We’ve forgotten how bizarre our planet is,” he continues. “Insects are their own gospel choir. Rain is a fucking fever dream. The more Earth I included, the more alien it felt.”

“The field recordings are mostly a patchwork of nature,” adds Powers. “Wind, insects, rain, birds, frogs, streams, thunder but with their voices mangled and played with. I fell in love with the idea that everything has a voice. Combining those with piano melodies felt like some kind of Mister Rogers hallucination. I also created some crude digital instruments out of noise pollution, like planes and highways—but the most natural sounds were always the most alien. I wanted to make something that felt as peaceful as it was haunting. Anything that did that and served the music, I made use of.”

Drawing influence from Keiichi Koike’s Ultra Heaven manga series, Richard Teschner’s puppets, and ancient folklore, Capricorn is shockingly beautiful. It’s a journey into the center of the earth, or maybe even an escape.

Whereas Capricorn was a surprise release, prior to Mulberry Violence, Powers shared seven songs for the album: “Playwright” (via a video for the song), “Ache” (which was one of our Songs of the Week), “Plaster Saint,” “XTQ Idol,” “Dicegame” (the latter two also were on our Songs of the Week list), “Clad In Skin” (which also made our Songs of the Week list), and “Squelch.”

As Youth Lagoon, Powers released three albums: 2011’s The Year of Hibernation, 2013’s Wondrous Bughouse, and 2015’s Savage Hills Ballroom.

Capricorn Tracklist:

1. First Rain

2. Earth To Earth

3. The Riverine

4. A New Name

5. Ghosts of Shanghai

6. Blue Savior

7. Pest

8. 2166

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