A studio wizard still in his early 20s, Youth Lagoon's Trevor Powers makes music that documents the spiraling uncertainty of a worried mind. It must have been tough to translate to the live stage, where the comfort and cover of the studio are stripped away and every fussy swirl has to be thoughtfully re-created or excised entirely.
Performing between Café Tacvba and Yeah Yeah Yeahs — tucked into a back room at Stubb's in Austin for SXSW — Powers showed that he's got it figured out, thanks in part to a crack backing band. Manning a keyboard with an array of effects, not to mention rocking a formidably frizzy mop of hair, Powers presided over a fleshed-out sound that stretched his flourishes over a sturdy skeleton. It's still music that faces inward, but it never collapses under the energy needed to thrive on stage.