Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye (Mute)

Yeasayer – Amen & Goodbye (Mute)

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer have been releasing their very colourful music since 2007 and this is their fourth album (their first for Mute Records).

Amen & Goodbye sees the band taking the best aspects of their previous records and cooking them up into a glorious concoction, encompassing Beach Boys harmonies, all-out big pop sounds and plenty of more reflective moments along the way.

‘Daughters Of Cain’ eases the album into life, with those aforementioned harmonies centre-stage, before the record’s first single ‘I Am Chemistry’ pitches up – it was a pretty brave choice to put forward as Amen & Goodbye‘s taster, being a layered psychedelic adventure featuring effective guest vocals from The Roches‘ Suzzy Roche.  Braver still was the next song to be unveiled, the moody and downbeat ‘Prophecy Gun’, which is one of the least commercial songs on the album, beautiful though it undoubtedly is.   The drumless track again puts gorgeous vocals into the foreground and takes its time in unfolding.

‘Silly Me’ is a joyfully heady pop song that is the closest thing on the album to the wonderful O.N.E. single from their second (and arguably most successful album so far) Odd Blood, while Half Asleep has more of an Irish folk sound, taking yet another detour into the unexpected.

It is a challenge to see what the 28 second instrumental ‘Computer Canticle 1’ brings to the table – it is one of three sub-one minute tracks on the second half of the album; ‘Child Prophecy’ sounds like it could have come from medieval times, and features (of course) only a harpsichord while an audience clap throughout, whereas the closing title track is a pretty bizarre ending to the album, featuring 35 seconds of nothing much.

The three-piece embrace so many sounds and moods throughout the album that it is difficult to know what to expect next at any given time. Special mention should be made of Ira Wolf Tuton’s fluid bass lines that underpin so much of Amen & Goodbye, not least on the highly commercial ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ which already sounds like it could comfortably sit in the ever-impressive Mute Records singles catalogue.

Amen & Goodbye is a fascinating and unpredictable record that demands repeated listens. It will be interesting to see if there is anywhere left for Yeasayer to explore on their next album.

Amen & Goodbye is released 1st April 2016 through Mute records.

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