YACHT, Where Does This Disco?

Tristan Rodman

By Tristan Rodman

on 11.11.14 in Reviews

YACHT, the duo of Claire Evans and Jonah Bechtolt, have been using music to render sci-fi visions of the future since 2008. “Science fiction is the grief of tomorrow and the horror of today,” Evans writes in High Frontiers, a volume of essays she published last year. YACHT’s most recent EP, Where Does This Disco?, spans three songs stuck in that feedback loop — between today and tomorrow, grief and horror, present and future.

A sci-fi vision stuck between grief and horror

On Where Does This Disco?, Evans becomes technology itself. On the EP’s cover, a manicured hand protrudes from the bottom of a pale-blue frame, clutching a blank CD. The CD bends light back, hiding a refraction of Evans’s face. The title track opens, playing heavily with the syllabic overlap of its last word. The way Evans sings it, it often sounds like she’s asking, “Where does this disc go?” (Jerome LOL’s remix of the track, also featured on the EP, hones in on and repeats the homophony.) “Don’t you wanna make me move?” she asks in the song’s first line, “When the needle’s locked in the groove.” The song pulses and repeats, and as Evans sings “I’m spinning round and round for you,” she feels at one with the groove locked beneath her.

Where Does This Disco?


On “Works Like Magic,” Evans pushes the human/technology theme even further, to the point where it feels seamless. She sings in call and response with a vocoder: “Tell me what you want, I’ll do it.” The song has been featured in ads for Google’s Chromecast, with the subtle suggestion that it, too, “works like magic.” Closer “Terminal Beach” may be YACHT’s most concise artistic statement to date. It imagines a washed-out future in which palm trees, cell phone towers, “little metal coconuts” and “ancient desktops” lay desolate on a beach. It makes reference to both Alexander Jodorovsky’s Holy Mountain and Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, reducing technological pasts, presents and futures to a singular sonic plane. Driven by churning, palm-muted guitar figures, the track propels the body into motion. Evans, at her most sermonic, delivers the EP’s strongest line: “Too afraid to think that we were taught to think could hurt us.”

If there’s a core to YACHT’s sci-fi vision, it’s that thinking twice about information we’re handed today is crucial to future consciousness. One page in High Frontiers presents a slogan for the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America: “Be active today or radioactive tomorrow.”