Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)” by YACHT from the 2011 album Shangri-La on DFA Records.
YACHT are far from your average duo of electronic artists. Members Jona Bechtolt and Claire E. Evans have both spread their wings far beyond the indie music scene and have done so with conviction. Bechtolt, who formed the project in 2003 and had previously been a member of Blow, is also an accomplished performance artist whose work has been commissioned to New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, his home city. He also founded the web community Urban Honking. Not too shabby…
After performing on some of the songs on 2007’s I Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real, Claire E. Evans officially turned Bechtolt’s solo project into a duo for 2009’s Mystery Lights, the band’s first release on DFA. Like Bechtolt, “musician” serves as only one of Evans’ creative credits. Most notably, she is a surprisingly renowned science writer: for the past five years she has written the astronomy blog Universe, and earlier this year she and astrophysicist Fred C. Adams spoke at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art as part of the Brain Wave lecture series.
Though Bechtolt and Evans lend their talents to a number of different projects, the music they make as YACHT hasn’t seemed to have suffered in the slightest; their new album Shangri-La is a passionate collection of precisely crafted and executed electronic gems. After one listen to today’s featured song, “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire),” which is full of syncopated synth beats a la LCD Soundsystem, it’s not hard to see how James Murphy took notice before signing the band in 2008.
YACHT are currently touring in support of Shangri-La, released June 28, but already made their way through Seattle, performing at Neumos on May 12. Don’t worry, though, as they’ll be playing at Bumbershoot on September 5. For more info, visit the band’s website here. While we’re waiting here’s a video of “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)” being played on the coolest turntable I’ve ever seen at the DFA offices: