"2080" by Yeasayer
Like its brethren bands, Animal Collective and Gang Gang Dance, Yeasayer combines traditional instruments, gospel harmonies, and world-music rhythms with synthesizers and a lot of apocalyptic hand-wringing, so there's no question what era its new debut, All Hour Cymbals, dates from: As a further study of the way hipsters have embraced earthy, antediluvian sounds in these uncertain times, it's fascinating. Not to say the album has no merit of its own—All Hour Cymbals ebbs and flows majestically like few other records this year, hitting musical touchstones past (Peter Gabriel, David Byrne) and present (The Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio) on its way to carving its own face in the bedrock. The meticulously arranged single "2080" has already blown up, thanks to memorable lines like "I can't sleep when I think about the future I was born into," but the hint of soul in the opener "Sunrise" and the menacing psych-rock of "Wintertime" confirm that there's so much more to see. In fact, All Hour Cymbals is nearly fillerless, and it balances its unease with a "we're all going down together"-ness in a way that perfectly sums up the age we're living in. Whatever that may be.