Youth Lagoon Shares Video for New Song “The Sling” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 3rd, 2023  

Youth Lagoon Shares Video for New Song “The Sling”

Heaven Is a Junkyard Due Out June 9 via Fat Possum

May 09, 2023 Photography by Tyler T Williams
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After releasing two albums under his given name, Trevor Powers has revived his Youth Lagoon moniker and is releasing a new album under that name, Heaven Is a Junkyard, on June 9 via Fat Possum. Now he has shared the album’s third single, “The Sling,” via a music video. Tyler T. Williams directed the video. Watch it below, followed by Youth Lagoon’s upcoming tour dates (including some newly announced European shows).

Powers had this to say about “The Sling” in a press release: “For years, I’ve been chasing a phantom. This feeling of an unseen world deep inside of me. It’s why I make music. I have a compulsion to understand myself. Or learn to love myself. Maybe that’s the same thing. I’ve been asked by multiple people to describe ‘The Sling’—where does it come from? What does it mean? Every time I start an explanation, I contradict myself. I’d consider it a song about time. And love. That I can say with confidence. I wrote it one night I felt trapped. The next morning I was free.”

When Heaven Is a Junkyard was announced, Youth Lagoon shared the album’s first single, “Idaho Alien,” via a music video. “Idaho Alien” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared the album’s second single, “Prizefighter,” via a music video, and announced some new tour dates.

As Youth Lagoon, Powers released three albums: 2011’s The Year of Hibernation, 2013’s Wondrous Bughouse, and 2015’s Savage Hills Ballroom. Then he retired the name in 2016 and released two albums simply as Trevor Powers: 2018’s Mulberry Violence and 2020’s surprise-released Capricorn.

“I felt like I was in a chokehold,” Powers said in a previous press release of the initial name change. “Even though it was my music, I lost my way. In a lot of ways, I lost myself.”

He added: “My mind has always been a devil. 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.”

Things took a turn for the worse in October 2021, when Powers had a bad reaction to an over-the counter medicine that a press release says turned his stomach into a “non-stop geyser of acid” and coated Powers “larynx and vocal cords for eight months.”

“I saw seven doctors and multiple specialists. I lost over 30 pounds. No one could help me,” said Powers.

By Christmas that year, he could no longer speak. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to speak again, let alone sing,” he said. “It all felt symbolic in a way. I’d been swallowing fear all my life and now here it was coming back up.”

Following this trying time, Powers had a renewed focus on his songwriting, writing about home rather than the larger world. “Family, neighbors, and grim reapers,” said 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.”

That included the album’s first single, “Idaho Alien.” Of the song, Powers said: “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.”

Summing up the album, Powers added: “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.”

Read our 2011 interview with Youth Lagoon.

Read our 2015 interview with Youth Lagoon.

Youth Lagoon Tour Dates:

Fri. July 14 - Spokane, WA @ Lucky You
Sat. July 15 - Bozeman, MT @ The Elm
Mon. July 17 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Club David
Tue. July 18 - Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s
Thu. July 20 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Fri. July 21 - Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
Sat. July 22 - Louisville, KY @ The Whirling Tiger
Sun. July 23 - St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill
Tue. July 25 - Kansas City, MO @ recordBar
Wed. July 26 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
Fri. July 28 - Fort Collin, CO @ The Aggie
Sat. July 29 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
Mon. July 31 - Jackson Hole, WY @ Center for the Arts
Thu. Sept. 7 - Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Hall *
Fri. Sept. 8 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
Sat. Sept. 9 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *
Mon. Sept. 11 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *
Tue. Sept. 12 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon *
Fri. Sept. 15 - Detroit, MI @ El Club *
Sat. Sept. 16 - Toronto,ON @ Horseshoe Tavern *
Mon. Sept. 18 - Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount *
Tue. Sept. 19 - Boston, MA @ Sinclair *
Wed. Sept. 20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
Fri. Sept. 22 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church *
Sat. Sept. 23 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage *
Mon. Sept. 25 - Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall *
Tue. Sept. 26 - Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 *
Thu. Sept. 28 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs) *
Fri. Sept. 29 - Austin, TX @ Antone’s *
Sat. Sept. 30 - Dallas, TX @ Trees *
Mon. Oct. 2 - Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf *
Tue. Oct. 3 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
Wed. Oct. 4 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
Fri. Oct. 6 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom *
Sat. Oct. 7 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall *
Mon. Oct. 9 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
Tue. Oct. 10 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
Wed. Oct. 11 - Vancouver, BC @ Cobalt *
Thu. Oct. 12 - Bellingham, WA @ Bellingham Exit *
Mon. Oct. 30 - Hamburg, DE @ Kent Club
Tue. Oct. 31 - Copenhagen, DK @ Lille Vega
Thu. Nov. 2 - Amsterdam, NE @ Paradiso Noord
Sat. Nov. 4 - Berlin, DE @ Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin
Mon. Nov. 6 - Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
Wed. Nov. 8 - Zurich, CH @ Bogen F
Thu. Nov. 9 - Cologne, DE @ Luxor
Sun. Nov. 12 - London, UK @ Pitchfork Festival (EartH Theatre)
Mon. Nov. 13 - Manchester, UK @ YES (The Pink Room)
Tue. Nov. 14 - Glasgow, UK @ Oran Mor
Thu. Nov. 16 - Dublin, IE @ The Button Factory
Fri. Nov. 17 - Leeds, Uk @ Belgrave Music Hall


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