SXSW Tip Sheet 2008, NYC Edition: Yeasayer


Yeasayer’s clearly having a little van trouble.
photo by Doron Gild

Every year at SXSW, there’s one ubiquitous hot-shit band that plays 10,000 parties and leads off 50,000 blog posts—past luminaries include Bloc Party, the Go! Team, and Peter, Bjorn and John. As for the 2008 title, (the actually quite splendid) Vampire Weekend’s got it all locked up. Bah—let ’em have it, and the withering overexposure it brings. Yeasayer is just as deserving, however, with a deft, deep, droning brand of spiritual pop that wears its vibrant drum-circle influences a bit less blatantly and more elegantly: Feels perfectly natural, Peter Gabriel too. Last year’s All Hour Cymbals is slick and dense and quietly foreboding, but with a warm, hippie-ish glow that slowly overtakes you: The in-the-round chanting of closing number “Red Cave” is a stirring, beautiful climax and denouement. Their live show is apparently rad these days too, if Voice guru Tom Breihan can be believed, which I suppose he can.

Yeasayer, “2080”