YACHT are artists based in Los Angeles. YACHT's
figureheads, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, are opposing forces.
It'd be generous to call Jona a high school dropout: he never attended a single day, choosing instead to literally "bang on the drum all day" as an outpatient in the teenage art ward. Claire was born in England, raised in France, and moved to Oregon to be watched after by the Intel Corporation in the mid-1990s, during the height of the microprocessor boom. But the unlikely pairing is the source of their power.
YACHT's new album, 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler', is a sweeping and visionary critique of the 21st century. It reveals the band at its most self-assured: critical, funny, tough, and musically diverse, craLing an infectious and hyperactive conceptual pop that seems to seep through the walls of an alternate universe. YACHT's knowing references to technology, feminism, and media are layered in complex arrangements in songs about holograms and phones, police violence and identity, sex and the future.
This is the first YACHT album that Bechtolt and Evans didn't
create in a vacuum. Starting from the ground up, the pair wrote the
album with their longtime collaborator and bandmate Rob Kieswetter, who
also produced the album with Bechtolt (a first: Bechtolt has been
YACHT's sole producer since 2002). The result is a surprising and
heterogeneous collection of songs that only YACHT could make.
Grammy-winning Irish producer Jacknife Lee (REM, Bloc Party, Robbie Williams, Taylor Swift) stepped in as a hypercolor shaman of sorts, creating his own album- wide credit of "objective overseer and structural mechanic." The album's title track was co-produced with Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, M83, Tegan and Sara) and its string arrangement was put together by pop polymath Jherek Bischoff (David Byrne, Caetano Veloso, Parenthetical Girls). The album was recorded over two years in Los Angeles at a handful of studios (Jacknife's technicolor compound in Topanga Canyon, Meldal-Johnsen's studio in Atwater Village, Red Bull's studio in Santa Monica, and YACHT's home studio) as well as in a former cavalry bunker in Marfa, Texas, at the Marfa Recording Company.
'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler' draws from a weird well of ADD influences: 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, Lindstrom, Prins Thomas), Grand Royal Records-era alternative music (Cibbo MaDo, Luscious Jackson, Money Mark).
YACHT was first created in 2002, as a design studio operating under the acronym 'Young Americans Challenging High Technology.' As technology became more evenly distributed, YACHT transformed into a word representing everything Jona and Claire touch, each medium informing the next. More traditional artists tend to compartmentalize their efforts, but like an adolescent trying on identities, from 2002-2015 YACHT have shapeshifted: from solo laptop performer to wacked-out performance artists, from harsh electronic comedians to composers, from a two- piece avant-garde karaoke group to a four-piece a no-wave broken disco band, all while working as commissioned artists, writers, editors, and speakers for organizations like TEDx, WIRED, MoMA, Rhizome, VICE, and more. The common thread: Claire and Jona's distinct amalgamation of cynicism, optimism, and attention to the special details that keep their work interesting and idiosyncratic.
If you're confused by YACHT, either look closer or zoom out. There's a decade-plus of work to siL through: joke websites, videos somehow seen by millions, subversive design projects, texts, one-time-only events, and more live shows around the world than should be counted at this point.
Just the facts:
# YACHT lives in and champions the city of Los Angeles, California
# YACHT's new album is called 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler'
# 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler' was produced by Jona Bechtolt & Rob Kieswetter
# YACHT signed to Downtown Records in late 2014
# YACHT's last two critically-acclaimed LPs were released by seminal New York City label, DFA Records
# YACHT's first three albums were released on micro-labels
(Marriage and States Rights Records) based in the Pacific Northwest.
These same labels also cultivated artists like Dirty Projectors, Jib Kidder, Lucky Dragons, White Rainbow, and more.
# YACHT's core members are Jona Bechtolt (pronounced John-uh Beck-tolt) and Claire L. Evans. Rob Kieswetter has been a close collaborator since YACHT's inception, and Jeffrey Brodsky joined in 2010.
# YACHT have created and sold unplayable compact discs, published a philosophical handbook, designed a sunglasses collection, created a fragrance, campaigned against NSA surveillance, and given presentations about their work in art museums, tech conferences, and rock clubs.
# Claire is a writer. She works for VICE, editing science fiction stories and publishing editorials about science, technology, and feminism. Claire and Jona are the co-founders of an app called '5 Every Day' that is also a segment on the largest NPR station in California, KPCC. Claire gives presentations at places like the Walker Art Center, Moogfest, TEDx, and UCLA.
05 Nov, 2015
YACHT's Claire Evans hosts a show on VICE TV's new channel Viceland.
27 Oct, 2015
YACHT have announced their European tour dates for November 2015, to promote their new album 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler'.
See their artist page for details.
22 Aug, 2015
YACHT have previewed the release of their next album 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler', with a billboard on Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, which they stood below answering questions on why they "thought the future would be cooler".
13 Aug, 2015
Yacht share the artwork for their forthcoming album 'I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler', via fax machine.
16 Jan, 2014
YACHT released their new single 'Plastic Soul' yesterday on DFA, as both a download and a limited edition cassette single.
26 Apr, 2012
'Le Goudron' is a surrealist revolutionary song originally recorded in 1969 by Brigitte Fontaine with The Art Ensemble of Chicago; YACHT has reinvented its naive-apocalyptic candor for a neon-soaked dance floor, our preferred autonomous zone. It is also available as a free download from Soundcloud.