Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals

J. Niimi

By J. Niimi

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
World music goes hipster.

This Brooklyn quartet's full-length debut is unlike any other indie release this decade — at least in this galaxy. Taking cues from Peter Gabriel's early ethno-avant work and the sly, proto-post-rock of Talk Talk, the sublime songs on All Hour Cymbals meld Third World sonic textures with post-punk timbres. What really sets it apart, though, are the ascendant vocal harmonies of Chris Keating (keyboards) and Anand Wilder (guitar), childhood friends who reportedly honed their chops in a barbershop quartet. Their unconventionally conventional background is apparent not only in the album's stunning vocals, but also the band's uncanny arranging abilities — it's not easy to make such a sprawling cornucopia of styles hold together with such graceful concision. “Sunrise,” the opener, starts off with a clarion chorus befitting the song's title, setting the stage for a near-psychedelic voyage that encompasses subtle pop songcraft (“2080″), catchy, melodic prog-rock (“Forgiveness”) and cinematic, otherworldly soundscapes (“Germs”).