May 21, 2012

Song Review: Yeasayer's "Henrietta"

Pinning down which route Yeasayer will take has never really been quite easy to GPS, as the Brooklyn trio have kept their outputs on the bipolar end of the spectrum, split right between hook-heavy synth pop and dizzying psychedelic jams (I remember their MySpace page used to tout their sound as "Enya with bounce," which was probably the most accurate definition they've offered listeners thus far.) Now on their way to a third LP, a mailing list-exclusive new track entitled "Henrietta" is only adding to their endless experiment in genre-confusion. It's easy to assume that the former of the two scenarios above will end up winning the stylistic tug of war, given how well they pulled off the pop on 2010's Odd Blood. Like the year-end listmaking "O.N.E.", "Henrietta" is concentrated heavily in glimmering neon textures and a reggae-fied drum beat during its beginning stages that sounds like they're providing answers -- That is, up until things go delightfully awry about a minute and a half in. It starts with synths effects colliding into one another, ultimately reaching a fizzling point where it seems like there's just not even a particle of sound left for the quintet break apart. In the wake of the silence, though, "Henrietta" bursts open cosmically and is reborn with an electronic radiance that carries the chorus through the stardust. So maybe Yeasayer still isn't traveling on an earthly map to locate their current position here on "Henrietta," but it's at least giving us the intrigue to explore further.

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