On Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse, nothing is quite what it seems. Like its predecessor, the album is a dreamy mix of warbled noise and affected vocals. But where 2011’s Year of Hibernation relished quiet, twinkling orchestrations, Bughouse layers it on; keyboards create the foundation for booming percussion, woozy guitars, and heaps of circus-channeling instrumentation.
On Thursday, the Boise group made a pre- and post-Coachella stop at SOhO, where they successfully — and triumphantly — brought Bughouse to life. Once a two-man project, Youth Lagoon now stands four strong, led by frontman, songwriter, and mastermind Trevor Powers. With the extra manpower at his disposal, Powers led the group through newer, lush tracks like “Mute” and “Dropla,” as well as fleshed-out takes on older singles like “17” and “Cannons.” And though Powers’s high and often thin voice threatened to make the set feel grating, the band and the stage setting did a solid job at keeping things balanced in Youth Lagoon’s favor.
Flanked by a collection of white fabric draping, and armed with an impressively mood-setting light show, the band appeared ready to hold down headlining duties, and the packed house only served to drive the point home. It seems not only that Youth Lagoon has avoided the sophomore slump — they’ve gotten better with age.