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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Yeasayer’s Chris Keating celebrates the power of collaboration on new album

    (Mute) Yeasayer is a rock band that hails from Brooklyn, NY. The band has produced four studio albums together, and has been touring in support of its newest album, Amen & Goodbye.

    (Mute) Yeasayer is a rock band that hails from Brooklyn, NY. The band has produced four studio albums together, and has been touring in support of its newest album, Amen & Goodbye.

    After recent stops at Lollapalooza and Sasquatch! Music Festival, Yeasayer is headed to Tucson.

    The band is touring North America promoting their latest album Amen & Goodbye. and plays Hotel Congress on Saturday night with tour opener Lydia Ainsworth.

    Band members Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder work together to bring Yeasayer’s songs to life. Both Keating and Wilder serve as lead vocalists and main songwriters.

    RELATED: Laura Gibson: The girl on the train, in your MFA class and on stage at Club Congress

    Now on its fourth album, Yeasayer has become known for catchy and danceable electronic music. But the band shifted to a more organic sound on Amen & Goodbye, adding in acoustic instruments and rock influences. The album brings a Beck or Pink Floyd vibe to mind.

    Keating spoke to the Daily Wildcat about the band’s latest album. 

    DW: Why did the band switch up their sound on this album?

    CK: We want to go on different journeys for every album. I think we, as a band, have a diverse taste in music and it’s good to explore different avenues of music that you like. I get bored if I’m only listening to hip-hop or classic rock or disco or something.

    But I like all those different genres and I like to … explore them if I can.

    Why did the band choose New York-based Canadian artist David Altmejd to create the rather surreal album artwork?

    CK: I just saw some of his sculptures — like, 10 years ago I first saw them. I thought they were really cool. He does these crazy sculptures that look like hybrids of another civilization, that are hybrids of like an alien and a werewolf.

    [He makes] stuff that makes you go, “That’s really cool.” I followed his career over the last 10 years, and I eventually reached out to him to see if he had any interest in working on something.

    One of the cool things of being in the band is you get to work with different people, whether it’s like in the studio or artwork or videos — collaboration is the name of the game.

    The music videos for “I Am Chemistry” and “Silly Me” are rather surreal. How did working with Mike Anderson’s New Media Ltd. team affect your videos?

    CK: They scanned some of [Altmejd’s] sculptures and incorporated them with their own aesthetic.

    They do stop-motion kind of work. It was almost like a jumping off point, like a transition from the album cover to their world. They were able to incorporate some of his stuff, which is great.

    I like having that dialogue between music and artwork and videos and everything having a relationship with one another.

    RELATED: Q&A: Hinds’ Ana Perrote talks the band’s upcoming Congress show, finding success in a foreign country

    DW: Yeasayer’s music influences many, but who influences Yeasayer?

    CK: I’ve been enjoying a singer, I think she’s from New Zealand, named Aldous Harding.

    I’ve been listening to the new Danny Brown record … [also] Siouxsie and the Banshees.

    Everything is always all over the place. I’ve been revisiting some stuff I listened to as a teenager, like Odelay by Beck. I think it’s a genius, timeless record.

    Follow Nina Ulloa on Twitter

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