YACHT – Shangri-La (DFA)
by Princess Stomper
I doubt I’ll ever meet a die-hard YACHT fan. They probably don’t exist – they’re just not the sort of band I can imagine anyone getting terribly worked up over. They’re pretty unlikely to make any best-of-the-year lists, and I’d be pretty surprised if they ended up playing arena tours. There just isn’t anything amazing about Shangri-La.
Then again, not every band has to be amazing. It’s great when you hear a record and think that it’s going to change the world; that music will never be the same again. It’s an incredible feeling when a song makes you want to scream your love for it from the rooftops, or inspires you to form a band or start a blog or even just buy the T-shirt. There aren’t any songs like that on Shangri-La, but there doesn’t have to be: it would be exhausting if every record you heard made you feel that way.
It’s not bland, either. At least not in the dull-as-ditchwater American Apparel music that’s so popular with post-ironic bored teens these days.
These songs are catchy, hummable, fairly memorable and certainly get the toes a-tapping. It’s mostly 80s, a little bit 90s, and just enough modern effects to let us know they do really know what decade we’re in. It’s as breezy and inoffensive as Air and as dancefloor-friendly as Daft Punk: I had to look them up to check they weren’t French.
These Young Americans Challenging High Technology (YACHT) fuse the dirty disco of Electric Six with the energy of Republica – and the vocals are frequently as horrible, but as with that band, it doesn’t really matter. They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to do.
‘Paradise Engineering’ is designed for student parties and late-night car rides. A lot of people will quite like this song and never quite remember who sang it, but find themselves shouting along off-key each time it comes on that overworked car stereo.
‘Tripped And Fell In Love’ is the song that some 17-year-old girl will dance to with merry abandon after too many alcopops at the local indie nightclub, working up the courage to go over to the boy she likes and steal a kiss. They’ll make out on the dancefloor and she’ll be hoping to God that he’ll ask for her number.
They’ll make a point of dancing to this each time they go out, until summer 2011 is over and they’ve broken up and the DJ doesn’t play it any more, and she never did find out what it was called.
Then, in 20 years, she’ll hear this on some old mix-tape or compilation, and squeal, “I remember this song!”
She’ll close her eyes