Yeasayer - Fragrant World
Some people don't like sport. Some people especially don't like the Olympics, and that's fine. Luckily the month of August is dishing up some quite tasty treats to keep these people happy. One of them is the third Yeasayer record Fragrant World. The band had already let slip earlier in the year that they were using new technologies to make the record, saying that "there's a lot of new software, in-the-box stuff, that you can use right now. Format-shifting and melodyne. All kinds of stuff that's really exciting in the variations that you can do." Of course new technologies don't always work for humans, as the HAL 9000 proves. With that in mind, let's see what the Brooklyn boys have come up with.
I was asked to describe Yeasayer to a friend, and as it is with most bands, that's quite hard to do without using another band in the description. I went with "a weirder version of Cut Copy," and I hope that doesn't anger too many fans of either. If it was a contest in weirdness, then having a song called 'Reagan's Skeleton' is probably a good way to go, and if you aren't satisfied by songs about Ronald Reagan's skeleton leading out an army of zombies, then this definitely isn't a record for you. The song in question is probably the closest Yeasayer come to a potential dancefloor filler on Fragrant World, as the rest of the record weaves its way through a variety of sounds and genres, with sprinkles of R&B, dashes of Electronica and snippets of Pop, making for a very tasty cake indeed.
Although it does eventually get going, Fragrant World seems to take quite a while before you get to the gooey caramel centre, though sometimes being made to wait a little bit more makes it all worth while. It's certainly a wilder beast than their previous efforts, taking heavier steps with the angrier 'No Bones' and having a mini electronic breakdown in 'Blue Paper', it shows that although it can be hard to break free of the mould, at least they're going for it. I've criticised quite a few bands recently for not having the balls to reach out and try new sounds, so credit where credit is due for Chris Keating and co.
While gold stars are awarded for branching out, you still need to have the songwriting to back it up. It tails off from time to time, but all in all it stays the course throughout most of the record. 'Demon Road' is probably one of the best songs I've heard Yeasayer produce to date, and other tracks such as 'Folk Hero Shtick' and 'Glass Of the Microscope' are evidence to suggest there's a lot more to come from these guys in the future. But to end with a technology analogy, while it's not in the league of a Wall-e or an Iron Giant, it could happily sit amongst the Gigolo Joes and Muppets' 80s Robots of this world and feel quite at ease.
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The last day of a fantastic weekend, day two of the Free Press Summer Fest is always better no matter what. Last year it poured rain and apparently again this year. I didn't mind the rain because it cooled us down and added to the fun of a festival. The only fear was ruining my brand new shoes again, but oh well, you have to sacrifice some things like food and rest to get front row at <strong>Cut Copy</strong> and Weezer. Am I right? [read more]
Label: Mute Release date: 09/02/10 Website:Yeasayerâs Website MP3: O.N.E Pardon my French, but HOLY SHIT. Indie psych's Yeasayer have stirred up brains and consciousnesses with their amazing debut All Hour Cymbals since 2007. And when it was announced that its follow up would be out in 2010 and that it was called Odd Blood everyone went into instant waiting mode if they cared about the band. As one of the people who patiently waited until something came, I can say that hearing more th... [read more]
Yeasayer. Oh Yeasayer. They hit it big this year, huh? Their sophomore record 'Odd Blood' had a split myriad of music journos and bloggers alike either wetting their pants with glee or arching a brow in attempt to figure out what went wrong. (NME welcomed it with a solid 8/10, while Pitchfork settled for a humble 6.1, for example.) Odd Blood's eccentric and adventurous stew of 80s inspired synth-pop arrangements wasn't merely a progression for the Brooklyn band, but a complete distortion from... [read more]
A brand new year is upon us and we see a pretty slow start in terms of single releases... As ever, we're needing your input to determine which is THE single of the week... Here's the shortlist for this week... Lost Prophets - 'Where We Belong' Delphic - 'Doubt' The Saturdays - 'Ego' The Temper Trap - 'Fader' Yeasayer - 'Ambling Alp' Simian Mobile Disco - 'Cruel Intentions' Yes, it's suc... [read more]