Brooklyn's Yeasayer is ready for their close-up. After releasing one of the more adventurous albums of 2007 with their world music-influenced debut, All Hour Cymbals, the Brooklyn band returns with a romantic album full of 80s synth sounds and the kind of hummable pop melodies that so often amount to backlash from early fans. They had previously positioned themselves between Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors in their sensibilities, but with Odd Blood, they sound closer to Depeche Mode -- if Martin Gore had been influenced by African polyrhythms.
Perhaps a better comparison would be to Security era Peter Gabriel, and that's no accident. The band recorded the album at the home of drummer Jerry Marotta, who played with Gabriel during that time. Since everyone is about to do Peter Gabriel covers, I'm thinking Yeasayer is perfect for Gabriel's "I Have the Touch".
The band will be putting the synth-heavy sound on display Wednesday night, playing lead single and pugilist yarn "Ambling Alp" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Meanwhile, the folks in charge of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics up in Vancouver have kept a pretty tight lip, up to now, on what we can expect to see. In the past couple days, however, promos have revealed some of the music artists, and when the headliners are Nelly Furtado, Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan (who wrote the theme song for the games), perhaps it's no wonder no one was beating that drum very loudly. It's Canada's night, but ratings-starved NBC was probably hoping for some demographic help ala Justin Bieber or Avril Lavigne (keep Nickelback away from the torch, please). Not performing live, but still making a debut is the second coming of "We Are the World," featuring contributions from over 50 artists, including Lil Wayne, Eminem, AR Rahman, Kanye West and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson (that was the sound of my head exploding).
Finally, The Soft Pack makes their network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman on Friday night, likely playing their infectious lead single "Answer to Yourself." Oddly enough, their straight-forward indie rock sound comes across as fresh to these ears, as seems like we've been devoid of good releases from The Strokes and their ilk for a couple years.
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, February 8
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Bravery (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Patty Griffin
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Jemina Pearl
Tuesday, February 9
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ryan Bingham
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Sade
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Matisyahu (REPEAT)
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Regina Spektor
Wednesday, February 10
ABC: The View: Sade
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Editors
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Switchfoot
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Yeasayer
SUNDANCE: Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...: Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ron Sexsmith, Jesse Winchester, Sheryl Crow (REPEAT)
Thursday, February 11
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Neon Indian
Friday, February 12
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Dashboard Confessional
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Soft Pack
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Duane Peters & The Great Unwashed
NBC: 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies: Nelly Furtado
Saturday, February 13
PBS: Austin City Limits: Them Crooked Vultures