Yeasayer came in at the wrong time: Appearing near the peak of Animal Collective’s popularity, they were a sound-alike with a nearly identical focus on vocal harmonies and synth-filled experimentation. But while their sophomore album Odd Blood doesn’t do much to separate them, it’s a highly enjoyable romp through New Age rhythm, bizarre lyrics and vocals that shift between droning and frenzied. Instead of Brian Wilson, Yeasayer takes its cues from Brian Eno (and to a lesser extent, the sacred duo of Davids: Byrne and Bowie), filling their songs with rhythms and melodies seemingly drawn from all world-music styles. Odd Blood’s opener, “The Children,” is a slow-building slog through atmospheric, pitch-shifted vocals.
Track 5, puzzlingly titled “One,” sounds like the Afrobeat version of a lost Michael Jackson B-side. The album sags in the latter half, but the first five tracks comprise some of the greatest weird pop released so far this year.
Download: “Ambling Alp”