So Brooklyn electro-jam-band Yeasayer’s new record, Odd Blood, is out this week. Here are some thoughts on it. They seem like lovely people. The whole press-photo thing, though, seems to give them trouble. Let me show you what I mean.
Let’s say first of all that the band is somewhat aware of this issue. From Rob Trucks’ December 2008 SOTC chat with frontman Chris Keating:
I don’t want to ask you about regrets, but what about the past 14 months would you change if you could?
Our press photos [laughs]. You know, we didn’t have any press photos and we didn’t really believe in them, and so we were just like, “Fuck it. We don’t want to do that.” And then obviously what ended up being our press photo was some really goofy thing that someone took one day, you know, at the house. I don’t know. We tried to fight the system as much as we can and I guess it didn’t really work out in all areas.
Though they do keep trying. Moving on:
As you can see, the facial-hair situation in this band is pretty intense. (Exhibit B.) Props are often employed to distract you from this fact. Here, a koala. (This actually started a trend.) Other tactics: a can of beans, a bike horn, a half-chopped cucumber.
The sheer-red-mesh-top gentleman to the far left both in the cucumber shot and the pic above is a bit of a motif. It will perhaps not surprise you to learn that he plays fretless bass. Does seem to attract the ladies though. (Which is not a problem generally.)
Sartorial ardor aside (here they are on Dress Like a Prospective Animal Collective Album Cover Day), the band clearly betrays a propensity for wacky horseplay and exotic settings. (Actually that one’s pretty neat.) These issues are largely solved in their new, muted, normal-dudes-in-the-woods official PR pic, which frankly now I find pretty disappointing, but rest assured the red mesh top, the smoke machine, and the can of beans are all lurking just off camera. We cannot change who we are.