Yeasayer's "Fragrant World"

Yeasayer's "Fragrant World"

  • Article by: Seth Graves
  • Posted: 08/15/2012

Let’s be forthright with this. Historically, I’ve always said “nay” to Yeasayer -- which may have been hyper-judgmental since I was fond of saying that before I’d even heard the band. In fact, even before streaming their newest Fragrant World. It’s both odd and scary how a pop record can totally make you understand how freaked out your grandparents must be and have been for the last 30 years. There was a time when you had bands like Depeche Mode, Mouse on Mars, and Backstreet Boys and never the ‘tween would meet. Each had their separate demographics with the rare freak in the overlap who at least claimed he dug them all. 

Now we have Yeasayer -- a glitchy, freak-powered electro-pop amalgam that perks your ears with a whirring of buzzes, clicks, pops and familiar sounds warped beyond recognition that soothes your unnerved psyche by gluing those sounds into place with a thumping backbeat and icing it over with smooth, melismatic pseudo-R&B harmonies.

It’s not a monstrosity that’s easy to embrace. The band's upcoming August 21 release, Fragrant World via Secretly Canadian, delves even further into the pseudo-R&B, the glitchiness and the overwhelming amount of familiar sounds, although the album is arguably more accessible than 2010's Odd Blood (which isn't necessarily a good thing). Then again, maybe I’m the bigoted segregationist that still doesn’t think *NSYNC should be allowed to pee in the Aphex Twin bathroom. The future is scary and some people like it that way. Those people probably also really like Yeasayer. Or better yet, they like Kevin Costner in the classic Water World; they were born with gills that allow them to breathe this new-fangled terrain as opposed to adapting to having to swim to the top for a breath of familiar air. 

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