I’ve been combing through some old radio playlists in hopes to eventually migrate them over to Spotify (where I listen at work / can easily share with others) and came across Yeasayer’s “Tightrope”, a personal highlight from the Dark Was The Night compilation from 2009. The album’s 10-year anniversary was last week, thus marking 10 or so years of me being a fan of “indie rock”. This is the album that was a big watershed moment for me, introducing artists like The Books, Beirut, Yo La Tengo, Sharon Jones, Gillian Welch, Cat Power, and more. I had already been a fan of Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire, but this was like a door had swung open. I’d imagine that was the case with many other people as well.
“Tightrope” is potentially a perfect song for a high school-aged teenager to get acquainted with this type of music. Ripples of dreamy guitar cascade over clacking percussion, avian audio samples and the infectious vocal melody from Chris Keating. They took some of the best qualities of an early Animal Collective song and made it totally accessible for a wider audience. From here, you can more easily dive into the neo-psychedelia that was happening at the time. Who knows where you could go from there? I’m going to try and revisit the whole Dark Was The Night record some time this week to see how I feel about it, along with the full Yeasayer discography. Needs another once-through, don’t you think?