Jona Bechtolt’s YACHT, formed as ‘Young Americans Challenging High Technology’, is a continuously evolving concern whose new make-up, welcoming singer Claire Evans, has found its way to pastures new at DFA.
It’s a natural home for a duo whose quirks look set to be encouraged, be they musical, philosophical or both – and it’s clear from the music and lyrics of See Mystery Lights that they don’t expect to be taking themselves too seriously any time too soon.
Not that you’d guess that from the lyrics in their bald form. Ring The Bell stands at the gates on the day of judgement, querying “Will we go to heaven, or will we go to hell?” Judging by the quirkiness of the chorus, the first option looks to be breezily assured.
The first two tracks, the obvious singles, neatly present the two sides of the band, the rabble rousing chorus of the first complemented by the half spoken, half sung vocals on the second, which winds up as a kind of mildly disinterested but highly catchy take on ‘The Israelites’.
Also helping along YACHT’s approach is a frisson of punk attitude, often expressed in Evans’ vocals but also helped by a refreshingly unfussy focus on production. We Have All We Ever Wanted, starting with an ordered contentment, becomes more fractious and edgy as Evans takes it on, the vocal becoming more energetic as it gains more voices.
Those searching for DFA’s characteristics of disco beats with extra adrenaline will find them in the repeated mantra “you can live anywhere you want”, following up the mundanity expressed in It’s Boring. This is an LCD Soundsystem B-side in all but name, similar to their Yeah, but no less thrilling.
Meanwhile Don’t Fight The Darkness turns inward, sparse beats keeping chopped up vocals and fragile refrains in some sort of order, a strange percussive stew that doesn’t fully add up but intrigues nonetheless.
“Hail to thee, land of promise,” exults The Afterlife. It could almost be a hymn to the New York label, whose Young Americans have added a slightly more avant garde string to their bow, helping them retain their edge on the dancefloor.