As you watch the video for “Montana,” you might think you are watching Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life. “Montana,” a single from Trevor Powers’ Youth Lagoon, roams the same range of family, memory, loss and life as Tree, only condensed into a four-and-half-minute video. We follow a kid growing up in the ’50s, his father’s departure and death in the Korean War and the aftermath that’s untangled years later in adulthood. Past and present fluctuate perfectly, and although you start off at a loss you certainly don’t end with one. Music videos are often by default a kind of musical commercial for the artist, but this stands on its own merits as art.[/vimeo]
That said, the song is good too. Powers conjures this powerful, expansive music from his own personal troubles. “I have really bad anxiety,” he told CMJ last month. “I worry about things that I shouldn’t, so I started writing these songs in my bedroom. Most of them graze about things that go on in my head, but a lot of them relate to stuff in my past.” Youth Lagoon is a means to an end for Powers, a way to untangle those emotional knots. “Montana” the song and “Montana” the video are on track to do both. Though Powers’ voice comes in waves of reverb there’s pain and vulnerability in there. The track is very spare, with a piano rhythm and melody that recall Neil Young’s “Harvest.” Drums and bass are likewise minimal, and maybe there’s a guitar hiding in there somewhere. The song builds to a climax and crescendos with a lot of power despite using so few instruments and having such a straightforward arrangement.
We’ll be looking forward to more come September 27, when YL’s The Year Of Hibernation debuts on Fat Possum. The band is also expanding its tour, the dates for which you can see below.
Tour Dates For Youth Lagoon:
09/10 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Festival
09/12 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge *
09/13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
09/14 – Columbus, OH – The Basement
09/15 – St. Louis, MO – Cicero’s
09/16 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
09/18 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive #
09/20 – Ames, IA – The Maintenance Shop #
09/21 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar #
09/22 – Urbana, IL – Pygmalion Festival
09/23 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
09/24 – Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Festival
09/25 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern #
09/27 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade #
09/28 – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor #
09/29 – Washington, DC – DC9 #
09/30 – Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands # %
10/03 – Boston, MA – Great Scott #
10/04 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #
10/06 – Grand Rapids, MI – Calvin College #
10/07 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle #
10/08 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry #
* with Young Magic
# with Gardens And Villa
% with Gem Club