Live Review: YACHT @ Songbyrd Music House — 1/15/20 + Rough Trade NYC — 1/18/20

Yacht02 YACHT performs at Songbyrd Music House on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Editor: We have updated this post with more photos of YACHT performing at Rough Trade NYC on Jan. 18, 2020!

Inspired in part by an application called the Verbasizer offered by David Bowie in the ’90s, synthpop trio YACHT wrote an album in collaboration with an AI program last year.

YACHT performed the appealing results in its entirety at Songbyrd Music House recently, offering the 10 new wave tracks of Chain Tripping live in reverse order of the record. And interestingly, the songs sounded like something that could have sprung directly from a Bowie collaboration with Brian Eno in the ’70s.

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Music Park: YACHT @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 1/19/18

Yacht 05Claire Evans fronts Yacht at Rock and Roll Hotel on Jan. 19, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Around nearly midnight, Claire Evans called out from the stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday: “How much time is left?” she asked.

“Five minutes!” the audience responded, informing Claire that the federal government would shut down any time now.

“It’s like fucked-up New Year’s!” Claire quipped to everyone, turning to her bandmates in Yacht on stage behind her. “Let’s enjoy the last five minutes of social services we have left.”

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Don’t Miss: YACHT @ U Street Music Hall, 11/7/15

YACHT-Tomboys
Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (Photo by Ricky Tompkins)

Disco-punk duo YACHT are about to release a new album, I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler, via Downtown Records — their third full-length effort operating as a band rather than as a solo project by founder Jona Bechtolt.

After the new album’s release on Oct. 16, YACHT will appear mystically at U Street Music Hall soon after on Saturday, Nov. 7, in a tour stop to support the album.

The new album finds Jona and his songwriting partner Claire L. Evans concerned about the quality of life and the future of mankind — two themes that preoccupied them in previous albums See Mystery Lights and Shangri-La, which lyrically assessed topics like the lack of an afterlife and utopia, despite mostly being earnest dance records. Aside from being an arresting performer, Claire is also a science journalist, writing and blogging about science for the likes of National Geographic, OMNI and Vice.

The first single from the new album “L.A. Plays Itself” is a love letter to their adopted city, inspired by the 2003 Thom Andersen documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself and incorporating 163 production location signs.

Watch the video for “L.A. Plays Itself” on YouTube:

YACHT cites a mind-boggling array of influences on The Future Would Be Cooler — including 80s Japanese electronic reggae (Sandii & The Sunsetz, Haruomi Hosono), 70s and 80s post-punk and no wave (Family Fodder, The Waitresses, Suburban Lawns, Killing Joke, A Certain Ratio, Devo), Norwegian disco (Todd Terje, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas), and Grand Royal Records-era alternative music (Cibo Matto, Luscious Jackson, Money Mark).

Tickets are available online.

YACHT
w/ Larry Gus
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Nov. 7
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages