ACL Spotlight: Yeasayer
Yeasayer is one of those bands that are just too hard to describe when a friend asks, "So what do they sound like?" Honestly you have to listen for yourself (buy their debut All Hour Cymbals), actually go see them live.
The Brooklyn based band is made up of Chris Keating (vocals, keyboard, samples), Ira Wolf Tuton (bass) , Anand Wilder (guitar), and Luke Fasano (drums). The band formed in 2006 and the following year they traveled here to Austin to play SXSW. It was during that week in 2007 Yeasayer started to get noticed and appreciated for their unique, amazing live show.
In the latter part of 2007 and early 2008 Yeasayer embarked on a co-headlining tour with fellow Brooklynites, MGMT. In January they stopped by Emo's here in Austin for an inside show that couldn't be pushed outside because Lupe Fiasco was also playing that night. Tickets originally going for $12 were being scalped for $60 and $70. We knew we were in for a treat and both bands did not disappoint. Singer Chris Keating waved his arms in the air like an evangelical preacher while stomping all over the stage. You can tell they are a band that loves to play live, I really appreciate that whenever I go see a band perform.
We saw them play a few other times this year (SXSW, @ Emo's with Man Man, and Lollapalooza). Yeasayer opened for Beck on his European tour this year. They also have been featured on numerous blogs and were even asked to perform for a Daytrotter Session. If you haven't seen them, they are definitely a must-see and if you have seen them, then you know what I'm talking about.
Here's a couple of amazing a capella videos filmed by Vincent Moon from La Blogotheque. Here's what they had to say about Yeasayer:
The band left the Nouveau Casino. They were funny, mordant, at ease, blithe. We went round in circles a bit, and then were told we would not take the van. So, we decided to go to the subway at station Goncourt. Fans, friends, god knows who, they all came with us. We walked for a long time, so long that we almost forgot we were there to shoot. Ira, the bass player, was the last one to take the stairs and the band almost took us by surprise, going ahead, turning around and singing a capella.
It would be useless to carry on this description, I think the videos speak for themselves... Crazy songs on the subway, rising and reaching their climax at Jourdain, opening a six-pack, a long walk, the building with two codes, an entry phone, a secured elevator and eleven floors. And then, the piano, beer, songs, 2080’s lyrics written quick and dirty on a sheet of paper, Lyn relaxing on her hamac, hands, glasses, bottles clinking on the floor as if calling the neighbour’s bawling out. A joyful hippie communion.