If you become a semi-famous musician, your parents will likely read every story published about you. That’s one lesson Ira Wolf Tuton of the band Yeasayer has learned the hard way. With the release of his Brooklyn band’s sophomore album, “Odd Blood,” a story got out that the album was inspired by an extended acid trip in New Zealand — an exaggeration, but not entirely false, Tuton admits.
“It was just taking one small story and making it the story,” he explains. “We’re not a bunch of acid-addled weirdos as we might have been portrayed but yeah, I did have some breakthrough conversations with my parents after that article about the pros and cons of acid.”
The themes in “Odd Blood” are out there, though not necessarily trippy (see sidebar), and they make a strong juxtaposition for the band’s transition from entirely experimental, tribal sounds to adding a more poppy sheen to their strangely catchy sound. Back from their European tour and about to embark on the North American leg, Tuton says he’s already noticed a difference in the shows this time around.
“More people are latching onto the lyrics [because they are] easy to remember [and] chantable,” he says. “I don’t think anyone could understand what we were saying on the first record.”
The increased accessibility will be a boon to the band, whose first album was widely praised as a breakthrough in modern music. But don’t believe us, or even Yeasayer for that matter.
“I don’t want somebody to like us just because it’s cool to like us,” says Tuton.
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