Yeasayer on The Word Arena, Latitude Festival

Posted on July 27, 2012

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written by Robert Pollard for Festival Republic

Very few bands attempt dramatic shifts in sound from album to album but between their debut and their follow-up Yeasayer certainly did. Their folky, acoustic beginnings on ‘All Hour Cymbals’ were suddenly superseded by elements of pop and 90’s dance on ‘Odd Blood’. Both albums are brilliant but they could hardly be more different. Their new album ‘Fragrant World’ is released next month and the music world is waiting to see if another drastic change is in the offing, or whether the commercial success of their last LP sees them stick to the pop course.

On the evidence of the new songs played at Latitude’s The Word Arena there won’t be a massive change this time but their songs will be just as well received. It was the new material that stole show and really whetted the appetite of fans for the new album. The colossal, stand-out rhythms that defined their second album remain, as does the incredible vocal interplay between Ira, Chris and Anand. Vocally, this band has it all. Chris has a huge range and adds drama to proceedings, while Anand has a smooth delivery with a sweet tone. Ira knits everything together with his high-pitched backing vocals. It really is impressive to watch.

2080, taken from their first album and still central to their set, had the entire crowd singing the words. Nothing can beat the version of the song they recorded with Vincent Moon in a small Parisian flat a few years back but this came pretty close. Their classic dance track ‘O.N.E’ was slowed down as frenzied scenes broke out with hipsters battling for the necessary space to dance their little heads off. Madder Red, the definitive pop number in Yeasayer’s arsenal, sounded great. By the end, the crowd were baying for more.

Brooklyn boasts many great bands but Yeasayer should not be forgotten. Capable of writing folk, pop and dance, the breadth of their sound really marks them out. Latitude felt the force of Yeasayer and the hipsters absolutely loved it.

photograph taken by Sam Ellis at Manchester Academy

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Posted in: Music