Behold...The Year of Hibernation

Talk about a record that completely flew under my radar. When Youth Lagoon first appeared I mistakenly passed it off as another record using twee as entry into the world of indie rock. Too many bands these days use Young Marble Giants as their first source of influence, but rarely, if ever, make good on that claim. This debut from Boise, Idaho's Trevor Powers is perhaps the closest approximation of that band's tiny sound. I'm having trouble finding any correlation between this record and the comparisons he has gained -- Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips. The Year of Hibernation is something completely different. These songs take a more than just a moment, or a double listen, to sink in and under the skin. Power's has tiny ambitions and big implosions, blasts of color that appear far in the distance. These are huge, hook-filled pop songs that come whispered instead of shouted. The record is almost insufferably quiet and barely registers, requiring even more of an ear to enter this insular and warm glowing atmosphere presented by Powers. Because of this, you have to find your own structure in the guy's out-there existentialism. Chronic anxiety and a hard-luck break-up are said to have shaped Power's music -- and you can hear it -- he's a man with a strong knack for pop, but hides it in the folds. The Year of Hibernation is sure to make it into my best of 2011 list. Believe it.

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