Savage Hills Ballroom

Youth Lagoon - Savage Hills Ballroom
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2015 Ratings: #484 / 866
User Score
Based on 114 ratings
2015 Ratings: #378
September 25, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Fat Possum / Label
Art Pop, Dream Pop / Genres
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Powers has nothing to hide on his latest work. He could tell stories for days, and he compresses tragic, ponderous tales into striking songs backed by strings and wild instrumentation.


He's still transmitting directly from the vagus nerve, and the anxiety behind each track is palpable, but it's madness delivered with a confectioner's touch.

Under The Radar

While some tracks just aren't that interesting ... Savage Hills Ballroom has highlights worth celebrating. Three albums in, Youth Lagoon will likely remain as lauded as before.

The Line of Best Fit

What makes Savage Hills Ballroom compelling, then, is not the message, but the medium. It would be difficult to pinpoint a “pop” album as adventurous and diverse as this released in 2015.


Savage Hills Ballroom is ... the first time we can hear what Powers actually has to say, and that's by far the greatest risk on a record that's already attempting to redefine Youth Lagoon.

Consequence of Sound

Some of the project’s whimsy has been tamed in favor of a darker look at Powers’ longtime concerns of love, loss, and growing older in the same part of the world you’ve always lived.

Slant Magazine

On Savage Hills Ballroom, Powers seems much too concerned with slick sophistication that doesn't quite suit him.

*another shameless college-era review*

Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers is, if nothing else, great with cohesion. 2011’s homemade The Year of Hibernation was a paradigm of bedroom indie-pop which conveyed big dreamy sounds with few resources. After that was the expansive Wondrous Bughouse, which fit neatly into a canon of 2010s psych-rock revivalism alongside Tame Impala’s Lonerism, Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic and even MGMT’s ... read more
For those who enjoyed the first two Youth Lagoon LPs, Savage Hills Ballroom might seem at first a bit too clean. Surrounded with reverb and space effects, Youth Lagoon previously designed a perfect dream pop atmosphere. The 2014 single Worms suggested he would follow that way but this new album appears to be a fresh new experience. Songs are shorter, more concise and adequately reveal the melodies melancholia. This album shows a fragile human nature that does not want to hide anymore. This is ... read more
What's great about Youth Lagoon is that you never know what his next album will sound like, and yet with each album Trevor Powers feels most at home as he's ever been. I truly believe Powers is a musical genius in his ability to create melodies that stick in your head for days on end. With his third album, Powers strips away the distortion and background noise to create an album that puts his vocals front and center. The lyrics on this album are outstanding and pure. There's something so ... read more
Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon has never been one to hide his emotions in his songs; yet, in his previous two albums, The Year of Hibernation and Wondrous Bughouse, much of Powers’s vocal work and instrumentation had been hidden behind layers upon layers of reverb and distortion. While Hibernation had a more lo-fi, DIY quality to it, Bughouse brought punch and playfulness, but the haze still remained. On his newest album, Savage Hills Ballroom, Powers removes the veil between himself and ... read more
He took a risk and he successed, in my opinion. Perhaps its cold critical reception forced Trevor to end up Youth Lagoon. That would be such an injustice because here he expands his sound anticipating a truly thrilling and creative future that now appears to be closed, at least under this project. Good luck Trevor, the three of them were sickening!
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Year End Lists

#18/The 405
#82/Under the Radar

Track List

  1. Officer Telephone
  2. Highway Patrol Stun Gun
  3. The Knower
  4. No One Can Tell
  5. Doll's Estate
  6. Rotten Human
  7. Kerry
  8. Again
  9. Free Me
  10. X-Ray
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Added on: July 13, 2015