YACHT teases fans with its most recent four-track EP, Where Does the Disco? The EP is short and sweet, presenting listeners with the persistent pop beats expected from YACHT productions, with just strong enough of a political undertone to evoke some real thoughts. The duo attempts to explore our society’s dependence on technology and media, as well as the potential aftermath of these obsessions; but with only two new songs released, the message YACHT expects to convey with Where Does This Disco? isn’t clear enough to make a lasting impression.
As a band so far along in its career, YACHT risks losing touch with what listener’s want to hear. Luckily for its loyal fans of the past 12 years, the duo makes use of its modest EP by offering tastes of the old and the new. Where Does This Disco? whirls, pings, and trills. The digital sounds, layered together with electric keys and analog synthesizers, create robotic beats, especially prevalent during “Where Does This Disco” and “Works Like Magic.”
However, YACHT isn’t afraid to expand beyond the standard sounds and instruments associated with electric pop. On “Terminal Beach,” the most politically-charged song on Where Does This Disco?, a heavy guitar and drum pattern are immediately noticed. The angry presence of these instruments creates an ominous tone on an otherwise upbeat EP. Perhaps these surprising elements are included in an effort to prove YACHT doesn’t have to rely entirely on synthesizers or electric instruments. Producer Jerome LOL is enlisted for a remix of “Where Does This Disco,” and gives the song a much more scaled back sound than YACHT listeners might expect. The remix makes use of percussions reminiscent of a spoon tapping on a metal pot. It’s an interesting, minimalist approach to achieving the same sound, but with a powerful twist.
Besides its willingness to go beyond the standards of electric pop, YACHT continues to use its platform as musicians to write politically and socially themed tracks.
Breaking the album’s uptempo tone, “Terminal Beach” is much heavier, which is immediately obvious by the weighted instrumentals paired with vocalist, Claire Evans’, monotone tenor. Clashing drums and angry strumming stir up a steady, consistent beat during the verses of “Terminal Beach,” but the track becomes crazed and angry as the chorus approaches. The very beginning of the song leaves listeners believing they’ve been transported to a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world before any lyrics are sung out. But when Evans chants, “We washed up on a terminal beach/All the palm trees/Cell phone towers/Little metal coconuts/And in the ruins/Ancient desktops/Cables running to the sand/Pull the messages that nobody understands,” the feeling solidifies. Halfway through the track, a monstrous, computer-generated voice begins moaning and wailing as Evans continues to chant, “Too afraid to think that what we were taught to think could hurt.”
The bits of technology washing up on the desolate beach and Evans’ repetition of, “Too afraid to think what we were taught to think would hurt us,” spikes fear—fear of our dependence on technology and how we’ll function once these objects and conveniences dissipate.
“Terminal Beach” is a song with a powerful message, but that doesn’t transfer to the other three songs on Where Does This Disco? “Works Like Magic” and “Where Does This Disco” are standard post-bad-relationship songs found on nearly every love-centric album. It’s obvious from “Terminal Beach” that YACHT is fully capable of creating compelling music from a lyrical and auditory standpoint, so why wouldn’t the duo push for more?
Where Does This Disco? is a mini creative exploration that indicates YACHT isn’t losing any of the talent the duo has worked years to master. However, it’s odd that a duo that’s produced five full length albums would release an EP that includes only two new songs. It has been nearly three years since its fifth studio album, Shangri-La, dropped, and yet YACHT’s next musical release is a four-track album with only two “never-heard before” songs, a previous single, and it’s remix? If YACHT was intending to tease its listeners with forthcoming “goods,” the band’s succeeded. Where Does This Disco? gives listeners all the content they might want from a politically aware electric pop band, but not enough actual material to satisfy their needs.
YACHT – Where Does This Disco? tracklist:
- “Where Does This Disco”
- “Works Like Magic”
- “Terminal Beach”
- “Where Does This Disco (Jerome LOL Remix)”