YACHT Announce New Album, “I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler”
Drones, a radically minimal billboard in Los Angeles, an array of GIFs, a Buzzfeed “tracklisticle,” Uber surge pricing, an installation at The Getty, “unveiling”, “announcing”, “revealing”, “heralding”, and more. It’s 2015 and music press is ridiculous. Learn about each project here: ITTFWBC.com
The BOYS of YACHT Score Film at Sundance
Jona, Rob, and Jeff composed the score for Myrna The Monster, a short film for MTV selected by the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and starring Kathleen Hanna as an alien from The Moon. Read more on Pitchfork. For Watch the trailer here, and a clip here.
YACHT Curates Weird Amazon
Canopy asked YACHT to be the first guest editors of their site, so YACHT took the opportunity to dig up some of the weirdest products available on Amazon and create mini-narratives told through curated retail. View the collections on Canopy.co.
YACHT Creates Free Mobile App 5 Every Day
YACHT are the co-founders of the free mobile app 5 Every Day, which suggests five hand-picked interesting things to do in Los Angeles every day. The app, designed by Public-Library, is built to be ephemeral, encouraging spontaneous exploration and engagement with the city of Los Angeles. Read more on the LA Times & LAist. 5 Every Day also boasts a loyalty program, Club 5, which offers users discounts at some of YACHT’s favorite places in Los Angeles—MOCA, the Cinefamily, Stumptown Coffee, the Ace Hotel, and many more.
YACHT-Designed Sunglasses Collection Out Now
YACHT designed a collection of sunglasses for Brazilian accessories company Chilli Beans. The collection, called “Make Your Face Smile,” features eleven different unisex frames, including optical frames, in an entirely black and white palette, and includes dozens of hidden details: hidden third-eyes, smiley-faces built into the screws, and translucent temples which reveal the sunglasses’ armature. Refinery29 said the collection “reimagines past trends to suit the modern age;” NYLON agreed that the “awesome” collection “could only have been imagined by the dance punk musicmakers.” The sunglasses are available online and in Chilli Beans stores worldwide. Read more at CoolHunting and MTV.
YACHT Presents Where Does This Disco?
For the release of our EP, “Where Does This Disco?”, YACHT created a multimedia investigation into the history, nature, and future of the compact disc. The release included an editioned CD art object and an accompanying narrative, told through the interactive microsite wheredoesthisdisco.today. YACHT were featured speakers at the WIREDxDesign conference; their talk about “Where Does This Disco?” addressed consumption, commerce, design, physical media, and the nature of a song. WIRED Magazine called the project “music not as a thing in itself, but the beginning of a chain of experiences which has no edge.” Listen to YACHT’s interview with CBC Radio about “Where Does This Disco?” here.
Claire Named Futures Editor for VICE’s Motherboard
In addition to taking on half of everything YACHT-related, Claire has also maintained a robust career as a journalist specializing on where science and art collide. She has been a frequent contributor to Aeon Magazine, Grantland, ScienceBlogs, uncube magazine, and Motherboard, the latter of which has now given her the very cool title of Futures Editor. View all Motherboard articles by Claire L. Evans and visit Terraform, the science fiction imprint of Motherboard co-edited by Claire.
YACHT & Claire L. Evans at Moogfest
Moogfest was one of the first festivals to allow YACHT to represent the full spectrum of itself. In addition to the YACHT show, Claire presented a daytime panel called “Science Fiction & The Synthesized Sound,” bringing artists together to discuss the future of music. And who better to discuss science fiction, androids, utopias, and high-concept musical narratives with the Electric Lady, Janelle Monae, than Claire L. Evans? No one, that’s who. Watch the panel discussion with Janelle Monae on YouTube. Read an overview from The New York Times.
“Plastic Soul” Video Produced by JASH
The video for “Plastic Soul,” directed by Whitmer Thomas and Clay Tatum and produced by the YouTube comedy channel JASH (Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, Michael Cera, Tim & Eric,) documents a three-day adventure in Gulf Shores, AL—the birthplace of the cheeseburger in paradise—captured on handheld cameras. Read more on Pitchfork.
Jona & Claire Speak at Creative Mornings
Creative Mornings is a morning lecture series geared towards the creative community with chapters worldwide. At Creative Mornings Los Angeles, Claire and Jona presented an overview of their work, shared their design philosophy, and discussed the value of creating meaningful experiences both on and offline. The theme of the talk was “Work is Play.” Read more at Creative Mornings, or watch the talk on YouTube.
YACHT & Marc Maron Release NSA Protest Song in Trade for Donations
“Party at the NSA” is a new song that directly satirizes and protests the continued illegal surveillance of private citizens by the NSA. The song, which features a guitar solo by comedian Marc Maron, is available online for a small donation. All proceeds from sales of the song are being donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a donation-supported nonprofit that litigates on behalf of the public interest for digital rights. Read more on Nothing Major, Fast Company, and SPIN, or listen to our interview on “All Things Considered” on KCRW, or with Marc Maron on WTF.
YACHT Lyrics & Design Ripped Off by Big-Box Retailers
Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Burlington Coat Factory are all selling a t-shirt designed by Freeze, CMI which employs the YACHT logotype and lyrics, without our permission. Learn more from Pitchfork, Hollywood Reporter, SPIN, and the LA Times
Claire Opens Solo Art Show in Miami
A multisensory survey of objects and videos, scent and literature, collected in one place for the first time, and largely new to the world. High Frontiers is, as Mark von Schlegell writes about Claire’s work, “a room of networked science fictions [where] young women’s minds will meet the shock of the ‘demoniac glimpse’ of the technologically-accessed modern real, and in the temporary safety of this new Dark Age see the stars.” High Frontiers opened February 20th, 2013 at Gallery Diet in Miami, FL.
Claire Releases New Book of Essays
High Frontiers is a new collection of Claire’s essays revolving around science, space, art and the unknown. Previously disseminated and published through various means online, this edition is published by Publication Studio. Subjects covered range from submersibles to mycology, surrealism, cyborgs, machine learning, love, and art on the moon; it includes interviews with Dr. Oliver Sacks, Trevor Paglen, and Ursula K. LeGuin, and a couple of weird poems, to be safe.
YACHT TV Show in Development with Amazon
Support is a dark comedy YACHT is developing about the life of an opening band, optioned by Amazon Studios. For the past three years, YACHT has imagined their lives on the road as a TV show. In many ways, a tour is a perfect analogue to an episodic series: there’s a central cast of characters, recurring locations, absurd scenarios, and new conflicts to resolve every day.
YACHT Co-creates Shangri-La Perfume
Shangri-La is a limited-edition fragrance which completes the total sensory experience of YACHT. Shangri-La is closer to an anointing oil, hand-blended from all natural essential oils by Heather Sielaff of OLO, a cult fragrance line based in Portland, OR. The collaboration has resulted in a mystical serum, a bottle which leads the subconscious directly to Utopia…A place that exists solely in the mind, gently triggering the synapses just like a scent memory. Read about Shangri-La on Refinery29.
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YACHT is a group of artists that make moving music, presentations, videos, texts, and appearances for beings and their screens.
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, crafting 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, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas), Grand Royal Records-era alternative music (Cibbo Matto, 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 sift 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
Photo by Ricky Tompkins
Did you like the show? Do you have a question? Want to tag us in a photo from the show? The official YACHT Facebook page is the place, or rather, a place. We are suckers for direct communication and interaction, so whatever you write we’ll see it, and most likely respond to it.