After the release of his first album, The Year of Hibernation, in 2010, Trevor Powers’ music was widely referred to as bedroom rock. It was an intimate journey through the anxious mind of the 22-year-old. His songs were drenched in psychedelic flourishes and driven by brilliant melodic hooks. Now, for his second album, Wondrous Bughouse, his curtains has been drawn back and the world is looking in to see what his next move is.
Despite the obvious fact that, due to his popularity, Powers’ has presumably got help from a professional producer to tidy up his raw mixes, Wondrous Bughouse still feels like a Youth Lagoon record. Powers’ meek voice – albeit not as reverb-drenched as it was on his début – echoes out over a colourful array of sounds. His compositions are still inflated by a psychedelic fuzz that accentuates the melody of each track.
Lyrically, Wondrous Bughouse has that same child-like innocence as The Year of Hibernation. On ‘Dropla’, Powers recites “you’ll never die, you’ll never die”, like a brittly optimistic mantra. The child-like innocence of the lyrics on his debut is still a major part of his new album. Powers’ ear for a seriously catchy melody hasn’t waned; after one listen, it’s easy to recall all the major melodic riffs on the album.
Yet, for all its catchiness, Wondrous Bughouse is a rewarding as anything else. There’s a lot going on in a lot of the tracks and, when revisited, there’s something new to take from it – particularly on the opener ‘Through the Mind and Back.’ If there was any weight of expectation on Powers’ shoulders, he’s definitely met it with an incredibly accomplished second album and avoided the dreaded sophomore slump.