Trevor Powers, the musician behind the dulcet tones of Youth Lagoon, has accomplished more in his 26 years than most. Coming off two wonderfully trippy albums The Year of Hibernation and Wondrous Bughouse, he’s ready with his tertiary title called Savage Hills Ballroom. And like the albums before, it offers up another side of Powers himself.
Where 2013’s Wondrous Bughouse could be described as whimsical and almost carnival-esque with songs like “Attic Doctor,” Savage Hills Ballroom is more laid bare and darker, from the driving baseline in “The Knower” and more introspective instrumentals like “Doll’s Estate.” Of course, Powers’ peaking tenor is still overlay all the techno-influenced rhythms, and yes, he still strangely sounds a clear octave above a normal human’s speaking voice, but the result is an album that’s one-part dreamy but at another an electronic grind.
There are a few tracks that are a little more middle of the road, and some lyrical passages lacking any real depth or complexity, but it’s a solid listen and a preamble to what’s shaping up to be an amazing fall season of new tunes.
You can listen to the whole album right now over at NPR.