Published Jan 22, 2010Yeasayer's All Hour Cymbals may have been a capacious and exotic introduction, but it was also born out of the band working in isolation. A few tours around the world, numerous friends made and a studio bursting with cool gadgets, and these Brooklyn free spirits set off in a whole new direction. Odd Blood bubbles and boils from the opening bionic gurgle of "The Children," a far cry from their debut's airy jams. While it's radically unlike the rest of the album, it sets up the bracing first act, which is anchored by edifying first single "Ambling Alp." It's a trip, and it lifts off and floats into a psychedelic paradise that flutters on "I Remember" and features congas on "O.N.E.," which revisits Cymbals' spiritualism in fast-forward. It's when "Love Me Girl" swells into a splash of hi-NRG euphoria and launches a second bewildering act that Odd Blood lives up to its title. The urgency of "Rome" has it jumping and jiving like Man Man on methamphetamines, and a feverish sax aids "Mondegreen" in becoming a proper romp. Anyone who's caught a Yeasayer performance in the last while shouldn't be surprised by this newfound scope or how fresh Odd Blood is from the first drop.
Your press release says "the organic elements were left behind" when making this album? Was that intentional?
Anand Wilder: It was an intentional goal. With the first album, we were just as involved with the computer as we were on Odd Blood. But we'd use acoustic guitars, record some cello and plucky, African-style guitar. On this one, we wanted to explore the synthetic side of things and really treat every sound individually so that each sound is unique.
The album plays like two halves and changes when "Love Me Girl" comes in. Was that the plan?
That was definitely the plan. I think we're not sophisticated enough to think of an album in the terms of one long piece; it's easier to think of it as two sides of an LP. As we were coming up with the songs, certain ones had more of a poppy, anthemic feel to them, and certain ones had more of a quirky, throwaway feel to them ― a little weirder. When we were sequencing the album, we played the songs over and over again, and we realized that the epic, anthemic pop songs needed to be against each other or the next song would fall flat. (Secretly Canadian)