Review of Yeasayer’s “Fragrant World”

For Those Who Like: The Flaming Lips, Passion Pit, Grizzly Bear, Donna Summer, MGMT, Cold War Kids

Yeasayer was born out of a hipster dream. Formed in Brooklyn, New York, the threesome found an escalator to indie fame through the all-mighty hit-maker festival, SXSW. Their debut album, All Hour Cymbals garnered very positive press and listener reviews, and they have been building a solid fan base ever since. No wonder Secretly Canadian picked them up, a label known for credible and quality releases with a little flavour.

Their much-awaited 2012 release, Fragrant World, stays true to Yeasayer form with its R&B tinged electro-disco rock. The album packs high energy and perfectly fits the psychedelic visuals that have accompanied it in live performances to date. Fragrant World has soul-tinged lyrics against a futuristic electro-pop backdrop that promises either a great dance party, or an outer world experience – if you’re into that.

This is Yeasayer’s first release in two years, but is well worth the wait and they know how to keep music fans wanting more. Their 2007 release was followed up in 2010 with Odd Blood, a hit with critics and fans alike. Dropping a few singles and one Record Store Day release in the five years they have been recording seems enough to satiate fans and certainly helps the build-up that lusted after their initial hype.

Fragrant World delivers, spinning what has become a classic sound with Yeasayer, psychedelic-electro beats with a little soul thrown in for good measure.  They give the listener everything they are expecting and more, with slick danceable beats and that buttery voice keeping everything grounded. “Reagan’s Skeleton” could inspire a hip-swaying dance craze and “Damaged Goods” has field party written all over it. Even the purposefully lo-fi “Folk Hero Shtick” – more than a cheap shot at folk hero/anti-hero – shakes and rattles with choral like vocals and shiny synths. No wonder these boys have been featured in party loving shows like 90210 and America’s Next Top Model

Head over to Spinner to stream Yeasayer’s Fragrant World and if you’re really keen, you can order the deluxe package that includes a limited edition 7” of the album title track (not actually included on the album) that is pressed with glitter.

Originally published on the National Music Centre blog for New Release Tuesday, August 21st 2012. 

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