Doing world music can be a dicey proposition. Do it right, and it can be an almost spiritual experience. Do it wrong, it can sound disingenuous at best, and downright insulting at worst. While they’re not technically a world music band, the Brooklyn-based group Yeasayer weaves in diasporic flavors and textures from around the world into their electronic-tinged indie rock.
The trio of Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton make up the main core of Yeasayer. Keating and Wilder were high school friends and musical collaborators in their native Baltimore. The two reconnected a few years after in New York and renewed their musical partnership, before bringing in Keating’s cousin Tuton on bass. The group’s 2007 debut long-player All Hour Cymbals and a strong showing at that year’s SXSW earned Yeasayer a higher profile and some overwhelmingly positive press. In the years since, Yeasayer have toured internationally and made stops at all the major festivals here in the states.
Later this summer Yeasayer is set to release Fragrant World, their third record full length. The album’s first single, “Henrietta,” has been making its way around the Internet, and it’s today’s song of the day. Yeasayer’s world music influence isn’t nearly as pronounced (if it’s there at all), but it still has a sleek, uber-hip vibe. The track opens with a hard, mid-tempo, slinky beats and cold synths that wouldn’t sound out of place in a mid-80s London club. About half way through the song it shifts. The mood changes, as if we’ve left the main dance floor to make our way to the chill-out room to catch our breath.