Yeasayer’s latest record is as thought-provoking as it is catchy

Yeasayer’s latest record is as thought-provoking as it is catchy

Words by Caitlin Hynes

Once you’re heralded as Brooklyn’s finest experimental rockers, the bar is set high. That doesn’t seem to faze Yeasayer though, who unfailingly ooze groovy John Lennon vibes mixed in with a little Mick Jagger.

Led by singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton, they’re gearing up for their long-awaited return to Australian shores off the back of their latest record, Erotic Reruns.

Yeasayer have fondly coined this album – their fifth since forming in 2005 – as their classic rock record. The album delivers so much more, though, with well-tuned hooks and tantalising harmonies, something it would seem the Brooklyn band have been fine-tuning since 2005.

Like the name suggests, the album seeks to provoke the listener to reflect and discuss the hardest hitting topics of today. It was produced by Yeasayer while riding upon the emotional rollercoaster that was the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Reruns are never erotic. They’re always stale and tried and true,” says Wilder.

This is what Erotic Reruns seeks to evoke. A clear as day reminder of the unsavoury sleaze and grime so prevalent in our world today, built heavily upon self-surveillance. This – in life and in this record – is juxtaposed with humanistic warmth and flashes of loving memories that comes from recognising the nature of existence.

As they make their long awaited return for their first Australian headline tour in seven years, Yeasayer see their laidback attitudes reflected right back at them in the fans from Down Under.

“I’m just so excited to go back. It’s not like we were trying to stay away or anything,” says Wilder. “It’s a great vibe in Australia and Australian’s feel the same laidback attitude that I like. So it’s a good match for Yeasayer.”

Following on from their prior records, including their 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals, Yeasayer effortlessly convince their audience to slip on their dancing shoes and slap on a thinking cap.

Wilder fondly describes Erotic Reruns as their, “most straight ahead rock album. It also has our most ‘bubble-gummy’, AM-radio staple kind of vibe.”

That’s the charm of Yeasayer though, isn’t it? They effortlessly combine intellectual discussions with a niche Brooklyn groove that compromises for no one. It’s a breath of fresh air that continues to subtly reinvent itself.

As we prepare for their arrival in February 2020, Wilder promises fans that the magical memories of Yeasayer’s last Australian tour will be relived through Erotic Reruns.

“It’s going to be the same old honestly, the best show you’ll ever see,” he says. “It’s going to be super energetic, a lot of vocal harmonies and up tempo songs.”

What Yeasayer’s tunes will also encourage come 2020 are internal reflections on modern issues that concern all of us. From the struggling political situation here in Australia to that in the United States, or the growing rebellion against surveillance, Yeasayer seek to make a statement.

“When we were on our last tour we were pretty devastated by the political outcome here in the States, so we figured if were to put out another album it would have to be a direct political statement of purpose.

“That’s been the great thing about touring – we can communicate with people from all over the world who are also experiencing the right wing populism that’s sweeping across the world.”

Yeasayer’s Australian headline tour Melbourne Recital Centre on Wednesday February 19. Having sold out shows on their last tour in Australia, don’t miss your chance to see them live near you, grab your tickets via Destroy All Lines.