Seeing New York band Yeasayer on Later... earlier this year didn't inspire me with much confidence in the band. While clearly the audience there seemed to think they had something going on, it wasn't evident from the TV performance as "2080" seemed weak and lifeless; I didn't even watch the rest.
Skip ahead a couple of months and here I am saying that their debut album is brilliant - what a difference a live performance supporting Beck can make.
After coming back from Manchester and browsing around for The Go! Team's second album, I found Yeasayer's "All Hour Cymbals", or rather what seemed like a few thousand copies of it lying neglected in a dark corner. Remembering how much of an impression they had made on me, I instantly picked it up, brought it home, and listened to it intently.
I haven't been disappointed. While live they seemed like much more of a rock band, on CD they draw on influences from all over the world while not sinking into obscurity and keeping their western arrangements and quite a lot of their rock credentials. Opener "Sunrise" is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album, with its almost tribal call at the beginning fading into simple yet highly effective drum beats, basslines and a slinky, sexy synth over the chorus that sticks in your head for ages. You know a song has to be good if it does that. "Forgiveness" is also a particularly catchy tune that shifts from dark and menacing to light and airy quickly but wonderfully.
But if you're looking for a good place to start then maybe you should try "Wait For the Summer", with its, er, coincidentally summery feel that transports you to a sandy beach on a hot day - nice when you haven't actually felt warm sunshine for ages. "2080" is perhaps their most commercial jaunt, with some chanting and jangly guitars thrown in for good measure. This is the song that had no effect on me a couple of months ago - now I want it on my iPod constantly.
The world must be getting smaller. Instead of becoming a standard rock band Yeasayer have done more and blended in influences from all over the world to make "All Hour Cymbals", an album that is compelling and hypnotising, standing out from other new bands coming from NY right now. Why on earth this album was painfully neglected in the store, I have no idea.
Thanks to modestamusicamoderna.files.wordpress.com/2008 for the pic!