Yacht: See Mystery Lights
In which a skinny white dude sings "I'm in love with a ripper" masked by AutoTune over the percussion from what sounds like a lost track from Peter Gabriel's Security. Well, alrighty--maybe it doesn't sound especially hot described out loud but, then again, most truly absurd things don't. This is fun, infectious electro-pop that actually doesn't sound like someone in "goofy" sunglasses banging on a cheap Casio (such as electro-pop has become in 2009). It also marks a new departure for the by-now venerable indie-dance label DFA (LCD Soundsystem, the Juan MacLean, etc.), dishing up something more for indie nerds rather than a classic dance-floor set.
YACHT, the duo of former Blow beatmaker Jona Bechtolt and girlfriend Claire Evans, started off as a brutally twee, instrumental laptop project. But in its half decade or so of existence has expanded into a sort of spoken-word/electro-pop/rock that Bechtolt likes to peg as "grunge" for vague reasons having to do with a do-it-yourself lo-fi-ness that doesn't really exist in the music anymore. Instead of the vague digital breakbeats that make up most electronic "indie" pop, live drum sounds drive songs full of guitars, choirs, and lyricism more philosophical ("Will we go to heaven or will we go to hell?/ It's my understanding that neither are real") than relentlessly--and gratingly--positive ("Love is comin' to getcha!" from 2007's I Believe In You. Your Magic Is Real). Everything sounds bigger and by the time the one-two hit of "Psychic City" (with the "Where you been darlin'?/ We've been holding this moment for you" earworm and a goofy little chair-spinning bounce) and "Summer Song" (a giddy handclapping, sing-along dance jam) arrive, See Mystery Lights is looming in the most radiant way.