Youth Lagoon | Pitchfork Music Festival | July 14, 2012
Photo: Erica Gannett
I tried to like this band, but like last year's Toro Y Moi, Youth Lagoon just lacked a certain necessary dose of chutzpah. The guitar player has great hair. I will not deny him that. But synthetic drums seemed to limit Youth Lagoon more than any other factor today, stranding the band's momentum in a...well...a lagoon of boring chillness. Somewhere between Passion Pit and this afternoon's Atlas Sound, Youth Lagoon was somewhat dancey, somewhat psychedelic, but not quite anything when the set was over.
The duo had a nice moment during a tune called "Montana." Decidedly the hardest number in their repertoire, it had the bass turned up loud enough to get some heads nodding. "I cover your band!" yelled the Daniel Striped Tank-Top next to me. Or maybe it was the guy with the one-hitter. Or the other guy with the one-hitter. As the beat built, sunlight crept through the trees, lighting up a damp, stony crowd with the first real wave of heat we've gotten thus far. It was pretty. I wish I was making all this weather stuff up, but nature has been the lead act at Pitchfork so far this year.
Youth Lagoon plays music that builds and builds with semi-euphoric, four-on-the-floor dance beats, occasionally syncopated with twinkly digi hats and sparkly guitar. Sounds nice, but it never releases. The beat never truly drops. So no one dances. Everyone just gets high and falls asleep on their feet, waiting for that moment of finality, of happy abandon. But it never comes. I guess that's cool, though. That way we don't have to muddy up our shoes.