Words & Deeds

Youth Lagoon got old, so Trevor Powers quit. Now Boise's famed indie musician is back

Trevor Powers helped elevate Boise's status on the indie-music map with Youth Lagoon, a project he retired in 2016. Powers has released a new song, "Playwright." He has given no indication whether a full album is planned.
Trevor Powers helped elevate Boise's status on the indie-music map with Youth Lagoon, a project he retired in 2016. Powers has released a new song, "Playwright." He has given no indication whether a full album is planned.

Update

Powers plans to release a new album, "Mulberry Violence," on Aug. 17. He's unveiled two additional songs, "Ache" and "Plaster Saint." Powers will kick off a fall tour Sept. 26 at Neurolux in Boise.

Original post

Trevor Powers has jumped back into the water.

Two years after he abruptly ended his critically acclaimed indie project, Youth Lagoon, he has rematerialized with a fresh song, a new video and an explanation of why he vanished.

By the time Powers called it quits in early 2016, he had released three albums under the Youth Lagoon moniker. He'd toured the globe, cut his teeth on the summer festival circuit (both Treefort and Sasquatch!) and temporarily usurped Built To Spill as Boise's most reverently praised music act outside state lines. (Online indie tastemaker Pitchfork could never get enough Youth Lagoon. Still can't.)

But then everything came to a screeching halt. Powers announced Youth Lagoon's retirement and disappeared from the public eye. Reportedly to Japan. When I emailed him just over a year ago to check in, the normally accessible Powers did not respond.

In the handwritten note accompanying his new track, "Playwright," Powers explains that he never intended Youth Lagoon to be anything but temporary. "I ended Youth Lagoon because it became a mental dungeon, and I was its captive," he writes.

Fair enough. Making music obviously is like riding a bike for him. And like that first time without training wheels, releasing this new song must bring back that rush of freedom.

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