By Codi Glancy
Today is my birthday and there’s no better gift than new music! On this glorious day, Yeasayer releases their third studio album, “Fragrant World;” the much anticipated follow up to 2010’s highly successful “Odd Blood.” These psychedelic – pop musicians have been a predominant staple in the current indie circulation since 2006 and this new album only raises the stakes. Even though “Fragrant World” may not be as much as an unexpected prize as “Odd Blood” was, it shows a new level of maturing and consistency in the band’s already remarkable discography.
Album opener, “Fingers Never Bleed,” instantly draws listeners in within the first thirty seconds with its groovy, kind of middle-eastern sounding music. As it bleeds into album single “Longevity,” a sense of blissful minimalism emerges from each electronic beat and disguised guitars. “Longevity” may not be as “poppy” of a hit as the previous “O.N.E.,” it justifies Yeasayer’s newly refined and distinct sound.
The amount of studio manipulation the band creates is amazing, but in the track “Henrietta,” the three-piece completely simplifies their sound to create my favorite song on the record. “Henrietta” contains a super funky and thick bass rhythm, while having a sort of Washed Out reminding aspect to the song. Paired with a closing repetition of “Oh, Henrietta, we can make love forever” that gradually builds up, “Henrietta” sounds like a short story being told.
“Fragrant World’s” middle ground is home to the ditty “Devil and the Deed.” Other than providing a transition to the latter half of the album, it’s also an awesome solo dance party song. It’s filled with claps and electro-cuts that make me refrain from intellectually listening and just get jiggy with it. Further songs, such as “No Bones” and “Damaged Goods,” are reminiscent of early 80s Prince songs with new hip twists that are relevant for today’s hits and dance parties. Album ending “Glass of the Microscope” is close silver for my choice in favorite track. Unlike most of the other tracks “Glass…” begins mellow, a steadily becomes more up beat, but is still easily the “slowest” songs on the album. It closes the album out brilliantly by subtly fading away instead of an abrupt “goodbye”.
This will probably sound bad, and I don’t at all mean it negatively, but my favorite aspect of Yeasayer’s music is honestly what it reminds me of. They take the somewhat strange musical direction of bands like Animal Collective and Cut Copy and combine it with the beautiful harmonies and lyrics that rival those of the Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear. Basically, they’re a unique melting pot of everything and encapsulate all of the best characteristics of today’s college radio plays. If you’re a fan, make sure to check them out at the Tabernacle on September, 8th with Daedelus!