This Friday, Proud Larry’s will fill with old fans and new listeners for performances by some old favorites: Youth Lagoon and Moon King.
Youth Lagoon, known also as Trevor Powers, showcases a psychedelic, dreamy energy in his work. Powers got his start by self-producing his music and putting it online. Oxford’s own record label, Fat Possum Records, took notice, and since then Youth Lagoon has released three albums.
Powers’ aptly named debut album, “The Year of Hibernation,” was influenced by his personal struggles and using seclusion as a means of sorting them out. He also released “Wonderous Bughouse” in 2013 and this year’s “Savage Hills Ballroom,” both of which are consistent with his sound and were positively received.
Youth Lagoon is currently in the midst of a 32-concert tour through the US and Europe. He also boasts previous performances at music festivals like South by Southwest, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Pitchfork Music Festival.
His work often mixes simple beats with steady pianos and synths. Equal parts soothing and melancholy, Powers’s work radiates with feeling and reels in the listener. His power lies in a simplistic approach and the heart that so obviously drives his music.
Performing alongside Youth Lagoon is Moon King, comprising Daniel Woodhead and Maddy Wilde, a best friend duo. Before signing to Last Gang Records, they released two EPs, “Obsession I” and “Obsession II.” In April of 2015, “Secret Life,” their first album under their label, was released.
Woodhead first started writing music when he and Wilde were growing up down the street from each other in downtown Toronto.
“I always had a higher voice in mind, so I think I just naturally started writing parts for her to sing,” Woodhead said. “Eventually when I started singing on my own I realized that our voices meshed together in an interesting way- because we’d basically grown up singing together.”
Lately, 80s musicians such as Belinda Carlisle and Till Tuesday have served as inspiration for the two, as well as the bands Tops and Mr. Twin Sister. When it comes to performing, Moon King is spurred on by getting a reaction from their audience.
“I know a lot of artists will just do their show the same way without worrying who’s listening or watching, and that’s fine, but I really feed off the crowd,” Woodhead said. “I’ll change everything up to suit the mood of the show. I think being adaptable is a pretty important part of performing.”
After their tour with Youth Lagoon, Moon King plans to start laying down a new record. They are using each performance as a practice field to test out their new material.
Their music is described by SPIN as, “Dream-pop with fangs, packing their reverb-layered surfaces with punchy playing and smooning melodies.” Their calm, trance-inducing beats are often followed by a powerful guitar riff- just enough of a jab to bring the listener back to reality.
“I like to think of it in terms of size, like our sound is quite big, although it can be pretty and laid back too. Kind of bittersweet, I think,” Woodward said.
Ideally, Moon King envisions their music being featured in film — specifically, a romantic comedy.
“I’d like to be featured at the end of one. I’ve found some great songs that way, like Leona Naess’s ‘Charm Attack’.”
Both acts have previously performed in Oxford at the Cats Purring Dude Ranch. This will be Moon King’s first time at Proud Larry’s, however.
Come out on Friday night to see two unique acts that share an artistic pop sound with indie rock flair. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show is set to start at 9 p.m.