The music of Brooklyn's Yeasayer is an eclectic, genre-bending journey into pop, rock, Middle Eastern and African musics, folk, and dub. Encouraging listeners to don their thinking caps and dancing shoes, the group's full-length debut, All Hour Cymbals, arrived in 2007. Synthetic sounds and dance-inspired production played a larger role on 2010's Odd Blood, which marked Yeasayer's debut on the Billboard 200. Still quirky and animated, they presented a more streamlined sound on their fifth studio album, 2019's Erotic Reruns.
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 come aboard in May 2006.
The band set to work on recording their debut album, All Hour Cymbals, which was unveiled in October 2007 and met with acclaim from critics and buzz in the blogosphere. International tour dates and festival appearances followed, during which the band honed their blend of live instrumentation and prerecorded samples. When it came time to record a second album, Yeasayer traveled to Woodstock, New York, and rented the country home of percussionist Jerry Marotta. With guests including Marotta, who took over for Fasano on drums, the resulting Odd Blood appeared in early 2010 and proved even more successful than its predecessor in terms of album sales, peaking at number 63 on the Billboard 200.
In the fall of 2011, work began on the group's third album, Fragrant World. A continuation of the murkier textures of Odd Blood, the album arrived in the summer of 2012 and featured guest appearances from string player Kishi Bashi and NOMO's Elliot Bergman. It reached the Top 50 of the U.S. album chart. The live album Good Evening Washington D.C., Live at 9.30 Club followed late in 2013. The band resurfaced early in 2016 with singles from their fourth long-player, Amen & Goodbye, released that April via Mute Records. Still offering offbeat sound explorations, core members Keating, Wilder, and Tuton were joined on the album by guests including Suzzy Roche of the Roches and guitarist Steve Marion (aka Delicate Steve). The LP also featured production help from Joey Waronker of Atoms for Peace. Written and produced by its central trio, Yeasayer's next album, Erotic Reruns, was inspired in part by post-2016 election fallout. It arrived on Yeasayer Records in 2019. ~ Kenyon Hopkin