All Hour Cymbals
(We Are Free)
It’s been years since anything coming out of New York sounded both refreshingly accessible and boldly odd at the same time (is that an oxymoron? It doesn't have to be). However, Brooklyn’s Yeasayer crafts a sublime debut that reminds us as to why this city is allegedly synonymous with “eclectic.” Incorporating wiry sitar, canned-sounding electric drum pads, and intricate four-part harmonies, All Hour Cymbals isn’t exactly prog-rock nor is it hippie-folk or stoner jams, either. But then again, this innovative album could only be described by what it is not because, well, it defies categorization.
I stumbled in on Yeasayer's performance at this year's SXSW festival purely by accident and witnessed a transcendent live band. It's a true rarity when a random show truly impresses and this then-unknown experimental foursome did just that and then some. At times, they projected a wholly distinct vibe like a manic Peter Gabriel-era Genesis channeled through Animal Collective but lest those references feel too inaccessible, the band always prioritizes the melody. Yeasayer is only one album in and they're already experts at producing an unrepentant harmonious cacophony. Yea, indeed.
Official Yeasayer website
Download one of the year's best songs "2080" here
The quality of this video isn't the best but it will give you an idea of how thrilling the live show can be. It simply does not do justice to "2080"s euphoric feel: