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Seven years of anticipation elevates a session with Youth Lagoon

Jen Ellis

There’s a vibe that cuts across all of the Studio Milwaukee Sessions we host at our Walker’s Point HQ — excitement, a little electricity, a lot of happy. But when an artist rolls through getting ready to play a sold-out show, you can take those feelings and bump them up a notch or two.

When Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers stopped by on a perfect Thursday afternoon (with MKE Air & Water Show practice runs screaming overhead) and delivered a warm, thoughtful performance, that extra something was in the room. He was just a few hours from taking the stage at a sold-out Cactus Club, and the audience here who scored a session invite via their Radio Milwaukee membership embraced the opportunity with appreciation.

It wasn’t just the packed show happening later in the night, either. Back in February 2016, Powers seemed to close the book on his Youth Lagoon project, calling it “a space I no longer inhabit, nor want to inhabit.” Then, almost seven years to the day, he announced Heaven Is a Junkyard (available now on Bandcamp) and lead single “Idaho Alien.” That was also the first song he played for a Studio Milwaukee crowd very happy to have Youth Lagoon back.

During an interview break in the performance with 88Nine’s Erin Wolf, Powers talked about the situation and shared the reasons for resurrecting his beloved project. He also shared how his Boise neighborhood is a constant source of inspiration, the positive impact of his family’s “beautiful brotherly violence” and how Youth Lagoon’s heartbreakingly beautiful sound owes a debt of gratitude to Elvis Presley.

You can hear the interview and performance using the player at the top of the page, check out photos from the session below and catch Youth Lagoon — well, not tonight in Milwaukee unless you already have tickets. But Powers will be at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this Friday if you want to make the trip down I-94.

Remember: It’s incredibly easy to guarantee a spot in the audience for sessions like these. Just head over to our membership page, become a sustaining member and watch your inbox for invites to the shows we host all year long.

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Set list

  1. Idaho Alien
  2. Trapeze Artist
  3. Prizefighter