If you're not on the Youth Lagoon train yet, you should be. Youth Lagoon, aka Trevor Powers, is one of those musicians that pick up quickly through word of mouth. You know the kind, you see them in the very beginning of their career in a basement venue and the next time they roll into town it's a huge sold out show. Ology's own Brett Warner did an Artist Spotlight on Youth Lagoon, which you should definitely check out. In case that post alone didn't intrigue you, maybe this one will.
The Year of Hibernation is a dreamy, ambient study of Youth Lagoon's anxiety, nostalgia, and ambition. While that may sound slightly daunting, it rarely crosses into that dangerous world of affecting gloom and intimidation. Instead, listening to Year of Hibernation is a perfect introduction to autumn, departing from the pop-synth records of the summer (See: "Torches" by Foster the People). "The Year of Hibernation" is like a soundtrack to your Instagram-themed road trip across the country with your friends, finishing at a sunset in the warm mid-west with a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.
Yes, I know that that may sound like a hipster wet dream and in many cases it is. But while some bands have their indie/alternative moments in the sun, Youth Lagoon strikes you as so completely rounded in sincerity that it arrests any dismissive wank motions in its tracks.
Songs of note include "Cannons" which is perhaps more cheery and inspiring than the self pride anthem "Born This Way". From "Cannons": "Get your cannons ready, light the wick / It will take more than an argument to change my mind / So why keep trying? / Keep trying, and you will never talk me out of it." Then there's "Montana", the haunting and wistful song written not about, but for growth. "As I walked slowly down your driveway to my car/ I looked back and turned into salt / A pillar with a hat."
In many ways Youth Lagoon's debut album is a love letter to the idea of maturity. The album swells with a nervous optimism carried by a wish to be better and wiser. In this way it makes it the perfect album for the season; as the fallen leaves start to decay, the real resolutions start to begin.