“This is the ugliest boho dress ever,” says Chris Keating, lead singer of Brooklyn based trio Yeasayer, holding up what resembles a handwoven, wind-battered flag. “We didn’t know what we were supposed to be doing,” adds guitarist and co-vocalist Anand Wilder, who shrugs before taking off his shirt and trying on the flag, which, when unfurled, looks more like a tattered apron. Over mason jars of tequila and beer, bassist Ira Wolf Tuton chimes in, “It’s like something Orphan Annie might wear.”
Two years after the release of their first record, 2007’s All Hour Cymbals, these three slaphappy late-twentysomethings are back with Odd Blood. And while their debut floored critics with its unexpected mixing of prog-rock, Afrobeat, East Asian and other world music, their second has loftier ambitions: to make people dance. “We wanted to do something a little more pop, a little more physical,” says Wilder. “The last album was more ethereal.” Odd Blood brings energy and circulation back to the once-vital, now-atrophied muscles of rock with rhythm. From complex drum-and-bass anthems like “Ambling Alp,” to the disco-driven desires of “Love Me Girl,” Yeasayer sounds excited and virile, ready for any challenge, even if that includes the mess of art supplies on the floor in front of them.
Odd Blood is out now on Secretly Canadian/We Are Free.
(Clockwise from top right) Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder
Anand Likes Freddy’s Bar and Backroom (NYC)