It was hard to walk away without a melody or to not bob your head to Yeasayer’s polished sound collage. / Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner.
However fans pronounced the group’s name (“Yeah-sayer”, “Yay-sayer”) all left the Music Hall of Williamsburg buzzing, humming, or both. It was hard to walk away without a melody or to not bob your head to Yeasayer’s polished sound collage. Celebrating the release of their second full-length album, Odd Blood, the synth, guitar, and bass trio (backed by a drummer and multi-instrumentalist) still seemed to produce their best sounds while playing material from their debut, All Hour Cymbals. The originally thin sounding and Indian-tinged “Wait for the Summer” was tight yet sonorous, catalyzing a swaying party and the crowd’s excitement before they completely lost it for the new single, “Ambling Alp”. At times the Hall was awash in ooh-ing choruses, of which “Madder Red” and encore “2080” were downright anthemic. While the group’s polyrhythms jumped from afrobeat to new wave to a pixilated dance floor thump bassist Ira Wolf Tuton filled in spaces with poignant fills on his fretless. Throughout, panels and columns of morphing neon lights that changed with their sounds flanked them. Also, Anand Wilder’s gold glitter guitar strap (with pick holster) is one the coolest I’ve seen around.
Opening the evening was another record release show, albeit a concise but poised one by Class Actress. Chanteuse Elizabeth Harper exuded Patsy Stone glamour as she sang melancholy vocals and danced along to their 80’s electro pop sound. Eager for Yeasayer, the crowd then became restless as duo Javelin jumped and power-stepped through their set, somehow managing to mollify their terrible singing with sheer sincerity and exuberance.