Watch meek-voiced Idahoan Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) give a powerful in-studio performance.
Pitchfork’s often criticized for its enormous sway on consumers, which — from time to time, whether intentionally or without intention — it wields to blow bands up (see: Broken Social Scene) or completely and viciously implode them.
Having nabbed Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” accolade on its recent debut, “The Year of Hibernation,” barely legal Youth Lagoon most definitely qualifies as the latter, and deservedly so. Watch this beautifully lit video for the song “July,” where Powers draws you in with his airy mumbles and plinky piano playing before ratcheting up the drama into a kick-drum-powered funeral march.
I’ve been listening to this guy’s album for a few weeks now and can verify that several songs on it go from frail to triumphant in mere, wonderful moments. “Posters” and “Afternoon” both get capped by welcome dance beats, the production all fuzzed out and swirling around them. It’s a great record about growing up, and I’m excited to say I’ll be seeing him in Denton, Texas, next week. Watch “July” over at Pitchfork.
Indie Matt Carney
About two-thirds of the way through “What Is Light,” the eighth track on
Oklahoma City singer/songwriter Ryan Parker’s “In Circles,” a melodic,
piano-driven, chorus-less series of verses gives way into a worldbeat
rhythm that evokes a living-room drum circle. This is the part where he
asks about the light.
Have some NYE Freakout leftovers, Iron & Wine, Craig Finn and Youth Lagoon, won’t you?
Youth Lagoon — “July” Youth Lagoon proved 2011’s most fragile new sound, and this song’s a textbook example. Watch a sad, bloody teenage drama unfold here. Also note the car driving on the wrong side of the highway near the video’s end.
Iron & Wine — “Godless Brother in Love” Less fragile than delicate, this Iron & Wine video supporting the very-good 2011 album “Kiss Each Other Clean” goes camping. This one’s much more into celebrating youth than mourning it. Warning: chicks with armpit hair abound.
Craig Finn — “Jackson” Here, The Hold Steady front man (who plays The Conservatory on Feb. 2!) plays a reminiscent, kinda downtrodden song off his forthcoming album, “Clear Heart, Full Eyes,” due out Jan. 24 on Vagrant Records. “It’s good” is all I have to say about it.
Phantogram — “Running from the Cops” live in OKC I actively decided not to listen to dark-toned New York indie-synth act Phantogram prior to its NYE Freakout opening set, just to be surprised. Turns out I was overwhelmed. Here’s a trippy, strobed-out video I helped Nathan Poppe shoot on night one of the festivities. Nathan says he’ll have a video from Neon Indian’s night-two opening set by the end of the week.