Yeasayer set for date at Oran Mor, Glasgow
Difficult second album? Pshah. These Brooklynites make it look like a piece of cake. Their second, or ‘sophomore’ record if you speak Pitchfork, is a confident, energetic burst of colour and beats – the felt-tip highlighter flip-side to their floaty, watercoloury debut, All Hour Cymbals.
‘We’ll always have those [first album] songs in our repertoire,’ explains guitarist and vocalist Anand Wilder, on his mobile before heading in for band practise. ‘But a whole part of our goal with Odd Blood was to reach an audience who likes to dance. We wanted to clear the reverb haze from the last album; make it a lot more direct, and exposed. More rhythmic too.’
Filling their ears with Chaka Khan, Steve Winwood and Mavado while writing, and determined to include some ‘really schlocky, cheesy love lyrics’, the trio have produced a fizzing, euphoric cocktail of tingling electro, fists-raised 80s powerpop and glowing, twisted afrobeats.
The old Yeasayer labels of ‘ethnopop’ don’t fit so well this time around either. ‘Our go-to notes always end up sounding a little Middle Eastern tinged,’ explains Wilder. ‘I think that’s part of wanting to sound foreign, and different and new. We’ll add in weird Chinese stringed instruments, or slow my guitar down through Ableton till it sounds like an Indian sitar. But we wanted to tone that down this time.’
The result is a gloriously melodic, but satisfyingly wonky collection – full of insta-catchy tunes (‘Ambling Alp’, ‘Madder Red’, ‘I Remember’, ‘O.N.E.’) – like a house party hosted by Animal Collective, with Toto and Peter Gabriel as special guests.
‘It’ll be exciting to play this stuff live,’ says Wilder. ‘These songs are really high energy and fun. Looking back, the indie-rock community first embraced us because there was this lo-fi, unclear vocals aesthetic about us. I feel disconnected with that right now. Everyone I know is like, if they had the money, they would all make brilliant, hi-fi pop sounding albums.’ For Yeasayer, it’s already a done deal.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Wed 17 Feb