Yeasayer, Heaven, London

3.00

Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Yeasayer have all ducked under the hype around their Brooklyn scene, by releasing second albums bearing slim resemblance to their first. Yeasayer especially are the quintessential American underground pop band, operating in a parallel reality to the commercial needs that define UK "indie" careers. If their new album of mostly damaged electro-pop, Odd Blood, sells a few less copies than All Hour Cymbals' murky psychedelic folk, they'll march on unperturbed.

Heaven, a usually gay dance club underneath railway arches by the Thames, suits Yeasayer's reinvention. Only guitarist and co-vocalist Anand Wilder's harlequin commando get-up retains their old hippieish style. Singer Chris Keating, with camply melodramatic movements and a voice switching between a grated vocoder croon and outrageous treated falsetto, resembles instead Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears on downers, fronting Depeche Mode. There are times when he's more like Shears stumbling on stage to harmonise with Crosby, Stills and Nash. And on "Rome", his echoing, impish scream is the Prince of "Let's Go Crazy".

From the hazy opening of "The Children", which sounds like a needle being swiped across an old synth-pop tune, to the snatch of Phil Collins's iconic "In the Air Tonight" syn-drums on "Madder Red", Yeasayer's new interests are evident. Wilder barely picks up his guitar, and leaves it inextricable from sequenced beats. The phased, bucolic Californian folk-rock of the new album's "Strange Reunions" is a thread of continuity. So is All Hour Cymbals' "Wait for the Summer". Gentle Laurel Canyon harmonies here end in a Donna Summer disco shriek: a natural, radical genetic splice.

The brand new "One" shows the direction they're pushing. Beginning as the sort of house familiar here in Heaven, it transmutes into immaculate, ecstatic yearning pop. Sad nostalgia is in the words "Hold me as you used to", but the voice keeps rising, and the beat keeps on. It's disco's version of a redemption blues. "Ambling Alp" is a contrasting pop high, sending hands in the air.

Watching Keating intently twist dials on stage, Yeasayer resemble electronica idealists such as Four Tet's Kieran Hebden. They're a rare example of open-minded listening not just being name-checked by a band, but rippling through an ear-opening sound. They communicate the joy of intelligent music.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea