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Breaking: Yeasayer

February 3, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Who: Electro-tribal trio who formed in Baltimore, where singer Chris Keating and guitarist Anand Wilder attended prep school. The group bonded over seeing shows by classmates Animal Collective and turned a 2008 LSD trip in New Zealand (with singer-bassist Ira Wolf Tuton) into the inspiration behind their latest disc Odd Blood, which positions them as the next weird-ass band to break out of the Brooklyn scene.

Sounds Like: The band's new LP is a dizzying, hyperdetailed mix of heady prof-rock, New Wave hooks and electro grooves with a definite Eighties vibe. Peter Gabriel's drummer Jerry Marotta helped record Odd Blood in an upstate New York studio packed with rare synths and percussion instruments from around the globe.

Vital Stats:

Odd Blood is partially inspired by inventor Ray Kurzweil's theory that computer intelligence will eventually supersede the human mind. "When it comes to our aesthetic, we ask ourselves 'What will music sound like in 20 years? ' " Keating says. "It's a good way to keep your brain active."

• The trio agrees that their mass acid trip made them listen to their music differently. "I realized that what I liked about our music was how confusing it could be," Wilder says. " 'What is that sound? Is it a guitar? A synth? A horse? A loon?' We've always been more interested in sounds, textures and tones than lyrics, and this album is even trippier than our first."

• Yeasayer have big plans for their upcoming tour, including custom-built light columns and giant illuminated balloons. Keating even has a new warm-up routine in mind: "I get into characters — like, pretend there's a witch. Whoo! It'll be a blast."

Get It Now: Check out Yeasayer's video for "Ambling Alp" above and follow their antics on their blog. The band is also scheduled to appear at Coachella, and Odd Blood hits stores next Tuesday.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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