Song of the Day: Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

photo by Doron Gild

photo by Doron Gild

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole is “Ambling Alp” by Yeasayer from the 2010 album Odd Blood on Secretly Canadian.

Yeasayer – Ambling Alp (MP3)


It’s hard to believe that Yeasayer’s debut, All Hour Cymbals, is three years old now but the time has passed and the group made the logical leap from the fuzzy, coarse musical explorations of yesteryear to the clean and poppy jams of 2010. Out now on Secretly Canadian, Yeasayer’s sophomore effort, Odd Blood, is nothing like you’d expect from the Brooklyn trio and nothing exemplifies this more than the leading single, “Ambling Alp.”

Breaking from their traditional style of echo chamber vocals and tribal percussion, the group shoots off into a new direction with clean singular vocals and powerfully grand drum loops that hearken back to a few decades ago. Indeed, comparisons to 80’s style production are not without merit, but none of this means you won’t want to listen to the story told in “Ambling Alp” a few times as it strolls along with the fuel of an Animal Collective-esque rhythm section. If this single is indicative of remainder of the album, you can color me interested and impressed with the direction Yeasayer has chosen to pursue.

For those who find themselves equally interested in how this new production style translates to the stage, you’ll find yourself in heaps of luck if you reside in Europe as they kick off a tour in Birmingham, UK, on February 16th. With patience, those of us stateside will get our chance starting in April when the band continues their touring schedule in the U.S. — there are plenty of dates listed on their MySpace page including an appearance here in Seattle on April 19th at Neumo’s. Also, Yeasayer will perform live on KEXP tomorrow, February 2, at 8AM from The Cutting Room Studios NYC, so mark your calendars and clear your schedules!

Here’s the official video for “Ambling Alp”:

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