By Carly Spayd ’20
The name of the band may not ring a bell, but you may actually know them. In 2013 they created the single “Don’t Come Close” for Grand Theft Auto V’s ending A.
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Yeasayer brings the self-described genre of ‘Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel’ to life.
In 2007, Anand Wilder, Christ Keating, and Ira Wolf Tuton created their band Yeasayer after the trio met in college.
The band writes all their music as a unit instead of just one person for one specific aspect. This contributes to the unique sound, and all three core band members are vocalists and experts with at least one instrument. For example, Anand Wilder began to play the cello when he was four years old.
With influences from 70’s Bollywood music, Mapfumo, Celtic music, a touch of poetry and other songs, the band released their first album All Hour Cymbals in 2007, creating a new type of sound for the world to hear.
Their next album, Odd Blood (2010), took on yet another sound. This was more poppy and upbeat. Fans of MTV around this time may be familiar with this album as their song “O.N.E” was played frequently.
Fragrant World (2012) has a much more psychedelic and nearly scientific theme to the music. This album was intentionally leaked by the band before the official release, as they mailed out CD’s of the album to 200 random fans.
“I think #1, it’s hard to do something secretive in the oversharing, Instagramming culture that we live in, so I liked the idea of a musical object you send to people … I was actually interested to see if no one would share it at all. I thought that would be really cool. But I guess that doesn’t happen anymore. Like 10 seconds after the first dude got the first envelope, I think he was in Belgium or the Netherlands or something, that guy was sharing it, and there it goes.” Keating stated on the decision in an interview with Ross Bonaime.
Yeasayer’s most recent album is Amen & Goodbye, released in 2016, goes back to some of their roots: psychedelic, electronic, and something akin to gospel.
They also occasionally remix music like Florence & The Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” and Julietta’s “Runaway”.
This three piece band isn’t known just for their odd music. The live shows, often paired with surreal imagery, (light up pineapple babies and light shows are their most recent shtick) are considered a blast to fans who attend.
“Their songs have different sounds and blends. Good vocals, too. They remind me a little of Bon Iver,” said Mr. Ayers, a fan of alternative music.
“To anyone who hasn’t got down with Yeasayer yet, just buy every album and press play,” a commenter posted on the music video for “Ambling Alp”, a song off of Odd Blood.
I couldn’t agree more.