Having released three albums under the Youth Lagoon moniker, Trevor Powers ended the project in 2015 and re-emerged under his own name earlier this year with news of a new album and a change in musical direction. That album, Mulberry Violence is released on August 17 via Powers's own Baby Halo label and opens with two tracks premiering today via The FADER.
The couplet of tracks are an ideal introduction to Powers's eerie and disorientating record, rooted in his piano playing but boasting an other-worldly quality. The first track, "XTQ Idol," is a bone-rattlingly heavy electronic ballad complete with warped vocals and a breakbeat while "Dicegame" takes on a more widescreen sound, cut through with a searing synth wail.
Speaking to The FADER via email, Powers provided some background on both songs.
"XTQ Idol:" “Early in the process of forming Mulberry Violence, I took a trip to the Czech Republic and visited Sedlec Ossuary, a small Roman Catholic church elaborately adorned with the bones of 40,000 people, many of whom died from the plague. Garlands of skulls. Crosses of femurs. Chalices of hipbones. A chandelier made from every bone in the human skeleton. This was all constructed as a way to honor the dead. For me, it was a labyrinth of mirrors. My reflection multiplied thousands of times in front of me, and I couldn’t look away. I saw myself as I really was. Trembling, I said a hushed prayer. Each turn showed me there was no escape from how it all ends; beneath this skin & without this spirit was just another heap of bones. As the tension through my muscles eventually lessened, a peculiar peace washed over me. My problems shrunk. My stress diminished. My pain was temporary. Maybe one day someone will use my tibia in a human chandelier? I can only dream. Late that night, I started 'XTQ Idol'.
"Dicegame:" “My favorite painter, the existential outcast Francis Bacon, described a work by saying, 'It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another.' This is entirely how I function — shaping ideas for weeks or months that lead absolutely nowhere.. it’s not until I fuck up and do something totally inadvertent that the path finally begins to glow. The mistake is always more captivating than the intention. 'Dicegame' had six other versions before it. All of them different; none of them honest. The entryway refused to accept any of my passcodes; it wasn’t until the big blunder came and I typed that into the keypad that the gate finally swung open. I chased the accident, mutated it, made more mistakes along the way, viscerally put them together, and the song finally had life.”