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When YACHT released their “Summer Song” single last year (along with its fantastic video), I was instantly taken by their more avant-garde take on the New York City dancepunktronicawhatever sound. The duo is comprised of Jona Bechtolt (formerly of The Blow) and Claire L. Evans, who–as the story goes–created “Summer Song” as a love letter of sorts to DFA’s James Murphy, who then proceeded to sign the act. Suffice to say I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear more from YACHT, and yesterday, my inbox provided relief in the form of “Psychic City (Voodoo City).”
I’ll start off by saying that the song is not as immediately galvanizing as its predecessor, but there is ample evidence here that YACHT’s debut, See Mystery Lights (due July 28th), will be one of the albums defining the summer of 2009 for yours truly. The band has put together an extensive blog post detailing the influences that birthed “Psychic City”–everything from Althea & Donna and Brian Eno to OutKast and (yes!) R. Kelly–so I’ll spare you further backstory but add The Pixies and Talking Heads to that list.
All of two singles in, a developing motif in YACHT’s work seems to be the tension between an adult understanding and pastiche of various musical styles versus a sort of musical and lyrical naivete. “I used to live in a hearbeat city / I swear I’d fall in love every minute on the street” acts as a doe-eyed foil to the musical nuance of the underlying track, which is a laid-back, burbling number that is quirky in all the right ways. If the rest of See Mystery Lights lives up to “Psychic City” and “Summer Song,” I’ll be a happy camper; if it isn’t, I’ll still have those songs playing through the rest of the sweaty season.