Soundstalker - YACHT, Shangri-la Review



Increasingly bands of today are further engaging with their audience, particularly with social vehicles such as Twitter and Facebook. However what with the global slut of the internet revealing more and more personal information about the artist(s), the fixation soon becomes more centered around the their life rather than the music. Prime example, Amy Winehouse. Who care's whether she's releasing a new album this year???!!- Much rather who is she dating, did her boob fall out, and is that white power round her nose?!!- Get back to rehab, not black.

Well with duo YACHT, the fixation isn't solely on the music, or in fact the personal lives of band members. YACHT surpass appearances.

When describing YACHT, It's rare that you don't see the term 'cult band' dropped fairly flippantly after. True YACHT have a
strong following, but in their words they are a, "Band, Belief system and business", who believe, "in reforming an adequate language", that "art and spirituality are inseparable" and that, "in the province of the mind, there are no limits". Genius. -Band's such as WU LYF are following this trend with their philosophical manifesto's and LYF membership scheme, talk about unique selling point.

On their extensive, yet cleverly designed website, YACHT detail everything from the significance of the triangle, recommended life reforming mantras, how YACHT must always be CAPITALIZED, and the official tattoo policy, yep tattoo policy. I'm also oddly obsessed with this 'smiangle' tee... why??

In 2009 YACHT released their acclaimed(by most), album 'See Mystery Lights', which saw the introduction of co-vocalist and YACHT member Claire Evans. 'See Mystery Lights' varied greatly, from the enchanting "Psychic City(Voodoo City)" to the hypnotic minimalism of "Don't Fight The Darkness". Similarly 'Shangri-la' shows a varies of influences, however, it has a far stronger root in pop music, with many of the songs being far more accessible, both sonically and philosophically.
Saying this, YACHT's trademark funk guitar and crazily infectious hooks are as ever present in this latest release. You find yourself subconsciously chanting, "ba ba ba beam me up" and "shangri-la la la la la....". These are where the true highlights of the album are.

'Shangri-la' opens with the cleverly juxtaposed couplet, of "Utopia" and "Dystopia", which effectively introduce the core themes of the album. Sadly, "Dystopia" is a hell lot more powerful and catchy than "Utopia"- are we destined for destruction?
Just yesterday the video counterpart to these two singles was released. As you'd expect it's weird as hell, kinda trippy, but also a bit kitsch and cute- wa wa wa watch it!
This album might not roll with you when you first hear it, but if you give it a chance you'll find yourself slowly being absorbed and lost in the rich sounds and ideas presented- Just don't take it too seriously. Start with the two real gem's of the album; the roaring synth dancefall filler, "Dystopia(The Earth Is On Fire)", and the sweet charmer, "Shangri-la".

It's clear from these last two releases that if they wanted to, YACHT could really smash into the mainstream. Yet it seems that they care more about conveying their ideas effectively through music which best represents and manifests their them, rather than becoming chart sensations. 

Cheers to them.

YACHT - Shangri-La by