Music Of The Week
By Lauren Harris
See Mystery Lights
�As one half of kitschy electronica outfit The Blow, Jona Bechtolt honed his beat-making craft, creating a type of emo-electronica that was the perfect complement to his former bandmate�s off-kilter, often tentative vocals. In 2007, Bechtolt broke off to form Yacht (which varies in spelling and capitalization) with Claire L. Evans, a band that�s as much an art project and relies heavily on both spirituality and technology. For the band�s second record on downtown dance label DFA, Bechtolt and Evans found inspiration in a southern phenomenon -- the mystery lights that appear in the skies over artist-friendly Marfa, Texas. Like a happier The Knife, or a less ironic LCD Soundsystem, the duo don�t disappoint with an album peppered with thoughtful bangers.
�It seems the music supervisor for the film Adam is familiar with a place called the Hotel Caf�. Tucked into a corner of Los Angeles, a group of singer-songwriters is single-handedly soundtracking episodes of Grey�s Anatomy and Old Navy commercials, and they all haunt the aforementioned club. Here, sensitivity and talent are equally weighted currency, and the players don�t so much �rock� as �folk.� �Adam, a deceptively pretty vehicle about a young man with autism (that�s already earning star Hugh Dancy rave reviews) features a few well-known players from the Hotel Caf�. There�s husband-wife duo the Weepies with a harmony-laden pop strummer, as well as a previously unreleased track from Miranda Lee Richards, and a duet from Saddle Creeker Maria Taylor and Joshua Radin.
�It�s hard to know how self-aware Ms. Tisdale is being with her title, but armed with a new nose and darker hair, the Disney also-ran is releasing her second album, which she�s describing as�(wait for it) edgier. Citing Pat Benatar and Katy Perry as inspirations, the now-23-year-old spent a year putting together the album, and said that she�s been involved in nearly every aspect of the album, co-writing many of the songs, and having the sense to hire bona fide hitmakers like Diane Warren and a pack of Swedes to do the heavy lifting. The result is a kid-friendly blend of the chart-topping minxes of the past five years (think Britney, Kelly and Ashlee), but without all the thinking.