YACHT - See Mystery Lights
Just like LCD Soundsystem’s totemic self-titled album, YACHT’s See Mystery Lights packs deft philosophical ponderings with bass-driven dance music. There are hints of Stoicism in Claire L. Evans proclamations on ‘The Afterlife’: “It’s not a place you go/it’s a place that comes to you/and it’s not about who you know or who is in your heart/it may come as a surprise but you are not alone/all that you have is not what you own.” But these ideas don’t monopolise the music. See Mystery Lights could have undone itself in different hands, but the balance is weighted to perfection.
The trio of ‘Ring the Bell’, ‘The Afterlife’, and ‘I’m in Love with a Ripper’ are a burst of wit and guile, before ‘It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere You Want’ cements the record with an eight-minute Murphyesque electro-disco stake out. Jona Bechtolt, YACHT’s creator at the helm, plays guitar and slaps the bass with surprising skill. But the real attraction of Bechtolt’s work is the pristine production, his unrivalled articulation of computer-based beats. The tapestry-like concoction of trebly ticks and tocks and the digitally deep-pitch trembling toms is enrapturing. It adds a depth to the vocal hooks that permeate the songs at moments timed to either awaken you from a funk-stupor or switch the key. One such switch is ‘PsychicCity’, maybe the best pop song of last summer, with Evans telling of a city of talking kitchens: “Hang around baby/we’ll be baking a cake for you.” And this only to be followed by ‘Summer Song’, the finest pop song of the summer before last.
See Mystery Lights is the best summer album to be released this autumn. As the clocks go back, and the darkness draws nearer, YACHT offer the surest route to the sunlight, if not a psychic-summer. This is the record that a twenty-something James Murphy never got to make.
Maybe YACHT are a mystical tribe of triangular-shaped pantheists in their spare time, but what interests here is an immense electro-popular record. This doesn’t mean fringe-slanting spine-shivering either. It’s proper electronic popular music. ‘Psychic City’ is a story from inside the glowing mind of Claire L. Evans amid a city of sentient, cake-baking kitchens. Heck, the first three songs on See Mystery Lights might be the most inspiring and inviting of this year. (Daniel Greenwood)