When Brooklyn band Yeasayer entered the studio to record a follow-up to 2007's "All Hour Cymbals," the group set a few ground rules. "We wanted to make an album of 12 songs, all under three minutes and 30 seconds," singer Chris Keating says. "We wanted a strong emphasis on the low end of things, and we wanted to try and craft a unique sound."
The band missed on the first two marks; its new album, "Odd Blood," which will be released in February on Secretly Canadian, has 10 songs, only three of which clock in at under 3:30. But the members definitely stay focused on the bottom end-and the sound, much like its previous effort, stands out from the crowd. This time, though, the aesthetic has shifted, from the psychedelia on "All Hour Cymbals" toward a mix of '80s radio hits, '90s one-hit wonders, dance music, dancehall and dubstep.
"We could keep doing the same thing, but why bother," Keating says. "We have diverse tastes and we did a certain sound on the first record and wanted to do something else. If someone who liked the first album hates this one, well, they can always go back and listen to the first one."
Keating adds that the new album was also influenced by the band's extensive touring. Yeasayer has co-headlined with MGMT and opened for it at Bonnaroo and will tour Europe and the United States in 2010 before playing another round of summer festivals.
The band has already released a gleefully not-safe-for-work video for "Ambling Alp," and Keating says the next one will probably be just as trippy but won't feature any nudity. He also says he's hoping to license tracks to films and is willing to consider working with some brands. "I have a Honda Civic," he says. "So I like them."