If the African- and Middle Eastern-tinged flavour of Yeasayer’s 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals impressed you, get ready to be transported by their sophomore effort, Odd Blood. Yeasayer leaves the tribal aesthetic behind for an electronic vibe, with distorted vocals, synth, and pounding bass lines. It’s an ambitious switch-up, but the Brooklyn-based trio pull it off without looking like they’re trying too hard. They channel a bizarre mix of genres while maintaining a cohesive sound that fans will recognize from their first album.
The overall feeling of Odd Blood is hard to pin down. It touches on themes of love and relationships which are without a doubt more upbeat than All Hour Cymbals’ morose, near-apocalyptic feel. The album blurs the lines between genres in a way that is reminiscent of a number of bands, but it doesn’t remind you too much of any one in particular. On “I Remember,” the melodies could be straight from an Animal Collective song, while the opening drum beat in “Mondegreen” sounds like it’s been pulled straight from a MSTRKRFT track. The album’s two singles (“Ambling Alp” and “O.N.E.”) are both heady and uplifting, garnished with Yeasayer’s whimsical lyrics. Although Yeasayer may still have a ways to go before establishing themselves, they’ve shown us that they’re not predictable.