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Music for the College Soul: Yeasayer Say What?!

With the summer release of Fragrant World, the alternative, indie assemblage that Yeasayer has created with an ultramodern sound constructed by none other than the Brooklyn-based hodgepodge themselves.

I have a confession; the group took a while to grow on me. I, Carolyn Jannetti, am usually pretty selective on bands that radiate sounds of new wave synth and techno. My forte usually lies within low-fi psychedelic rock or, on the other end of the spectrum, with chilled-out folksy melodies. That being said, the band has had an admirable run of singles like “Tightrope” and “2080”. But that’s just what the band has
had…only a couple of semi-catchy singles. Nevertheless, lately I’ve found myself catching many of their newly released songs back and forth on my commute on SURIUS XM U, liking more than just one tune.

With this new album comes a new sound. I could tell people would be saying things like, “This doesn’t sound like the old Yeasayer.” But let’s be honest. It’s probably all for the better. The band definitely seems to be going for a more head rattling reverb, and yet at the same time the group has created an unfussy, uncomplicated thing. The mechanized rhythm that is Henrietta has stayed in my head the longest of all. The organ-backed track is exceptionally infecting. It’s definitely the type of techno I’d say I’m into, more Twin Shadow, less Purity Ring. It works a harmonious bass riff and groove to make us want to bop along in the car.

The reason I’m starting off this column with Yeasayer over other bands is because I figured more people in the area, predominantly Westcott natives, would see a connection since the Westcott theatre hosted the band this past August. Hipsters of all kinds gathered to sway and swing to the rhythms radiating from the concrete floor below. The set list consisted mostly of Fragrant World along with a couple of tracks from All Hour Cymbals and Odd Blood.

Although the EQ filters can become a bit excessive, this album goes beyond the provisions. Even the trippy visuals for the record cover make you reflect beyond what you see. But I am only intrigued tentatively. It is impressive compared to the preceding records. But I am not sure if it is enough to make it to my revered list of favorites. That being said, this album has opened my mind and ears for what is to come from the chic band in the future.

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