Looking at my iTunes most played list (a good way to get to know any person, in my opinion), it's immediately obvious that I've been listening to Yeasayer just about nonstop recently. The first time I ran into any of their music was last year on Dark Was the Night, a compilation of songs by a fan-freaking-tastic lineup of indie artists to raise money for AIDS research. I'll probably devote an entire post just to that album, so stay tuned for highlights, and I'll avoid getting sidetracked now.
Yeasayer definitely may take more than one listen to grow on you; Tightrope didn't immediately shoot to my top played after DWtN, but has steadily risen ever since. The band itself is comprised of three core members: Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Anand Wilder. Take a look at any of their live performances (such as the Take Away Show I posted a while back), and you'll see that they're pretty much crazy, in a good way. Huge amounts of energy, a total connection to their music, and creative improvisation convinced the TAS crew that the night they spent filming was one of the best ones they'd had, for a "band I didn't like, no less". Best use of musical beer bottles I've ever seen, in any case.
The group describes their music as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel". Not sure exactly what that would entail, but their tracks have driving beats, complex instrumentation, and relatable lyrics ("so you're wishing that you never did all the embarrassing things you've done"? check.) Their latest album, Odd Blood, is different from their first album All Hour Cymbals, but I think both have some pretty great highlights. Here goes:
All Hour Cymbals:
Sunrise-great drum beat, definitely part of my running playlist EDIT: This live version is fantastic.
Red Cave-i could see the "middle eastern" bit in this song
Wait for the Summer-another middle eastern/psychish song, but still intriguing
Ambling Alp-not the official video, because it is the strangest thing I've ever seen, and I don't want to scare you off from a great song.
O.N.E.-you can download this by going to Yeasayer's site and entering your e-mail, but again you've been warned...it's a bizarre site. This is probably my favorite song on the album right now.
I Remember, which Monica claims was on some embarrassing TV show. I wouldn't know. :)
[Photo by Alexander Wagner; L to R: Ira Wolf Tuton, Anand Wilder, Chris Keating, Luke Fasano]