released Feb 9th, 2010

from the album - Ambling Alp

YouTube - Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp" 2/10 Fallon (

from all music

The music of Brooklyn's Yeasayer is an eclectic, genre-bending journey into pop, rock, Middle Eastern and African musics, folk, and dub. Vocalist/keyboardist Chris Keating and vocalist/guitarist Anand Wilder were both raised in Baltimore, where they honed their vocal skills in a barbershop quartet and played in a high-school band, Sic Transit, before leaving town to attend different colleges. Years later, the two relocated to New York and began shaping the project that would soon become Yeasayer. Wilder's cousin, Ira Wolf Tuton, joined as the group's bassist, and drummer Luke Fasano was the last member to climb aboard in May 2006.

The band set to work on recording its debut album, All Hour Cymbals, which was unveiled to much critical acclaim (not to mention a healthy blogosphere buzz) in October 2007. International tour dates and festival appearances followed, during which the band honed its blend of live instrumentation and prerecorded samples. When it came time to record a second album, Yeasayer traveled to Woodstock, NY, and rented out the country home of percussionist Jerry Marotta. The resulting record, Odd Blood, appeared in early 2010 and showcased a different side of the band, with synthetic sounds and dance-inspired production playing a much larger role.

album review

Don’t judge a book by its cover…or an album by its first track. Odd Blood gets off to an odd start with “The Children” — a robotic, plodding song that prizes mood over melody — before settling into a more balanced groove, mixing the multicultural sounds of Yeasayer's debut with a new emphasis on electronica, global trip-hop, and digital production. Like All Hour Cymbals, this is a thinking man’s album, one that requires its listeners to put on their thinking caps as well as their dancing shoes. It’s more urban than its predecessor, though, with most songs ditching the tribal harmonies and lo-fi analog ambience of the band’s earlier work in favor of an electric, textured sound. “Love Me Girl,” with its mix of Balearic beat keyboards and sampled female vocals, could have come from an Ibiza nightclub, while “Madder Red” strikes an unlikely balance between synth pop, Middle Eastern folk, and ‘80s dance music. Anand Wilder often abandons his guitar entirely, focusing instead on the keyboards that serve as Odd Blood’s bedrock, and he sings the latter song in a voice that’s clear, pleasant, and devoid of the yelping that characterized some of All Hour Cymbals’ tracks. Chris Keating has similarly improved, so much so that he delivers a rather stunning ballad — the Air-influenced “I Remember” — with warmth and understated confidence. Odd Blood’s emphasis on genre-mashing can overwhelm the weaker tunes, whose melodies are sometimes less interesting than the arrangements themselves, but the album has enough highlights to outweigh any filler on side B. All in all, this is a rare sophomore album that widens the band's sound without narrowing its appeal.

Track Listing

1. "The Children" 3:12
2. "Ambling Alp" 3:55
3. "Madder Red" 4:03
4. "I Remember" 4:23
5. "O.N.E." 5:23
6. "Love Me Girl" 5:00
7. "Rome" 3:48
8. "Strange Reunions" 2:35
9. "Mondegreen" 4:37
10. "Grizelda" 2:40