YACHT, the duo led by former the Blow member Jona Bechtolt, had a good portion of their lunch eaten earlier this year when Discovery released LP, the laptop r&b record Bechtolt and his Portland cohorts had been trying unsuccessfully to make for years. But a lot’s happened since 2007, when YACHT released I Believe in You, Your Magic Is Real, Bechtolt’s weird motivational-speaker crisis of an album: the band signed to DFA after scooping James Murphy as a friend and touring mate, longtime affiliate Claire L. Evans joined the band full time, and somewhere along the line everyone got really adamant that the letters YACHT in fact stood, a la Pynchon, for “Young Americans Challenging Technology.”
See Mystery Lights, the band’s latest, comes out today. On it, Bechtolt seems to finally have figured out that what he likes to dance to and what other people like to dance to aren’t exactly synonymous–the stuttering, lo-fi, shouty lurch of his past LPs is replaced, on SML, with a whole lot of actual disco. It’s the best record he’s made since his classic lap-pop run with the Blow, and “I’m in Love With a Ripper,” in these late days of July, sure feels like a summer jam to us. Last night YACHT played on something called the Waterpod, “a sustainable boat habitat docked at 125th Street on the dark waters of the Hudson River”; tonight, the band is at Santos, where they’ll play with Bad Brilliance and James Murphy and Pat Mahoney’s Special Disco Version. Bechtolt will be dancing, even if you’re not.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2009