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Yachtclub101 Releases Eponymous Debut Album

The sound of neon lights. The moment when electronica hits pavement and a whoosh of energy injects itself like jet propellant. The sound of clarity and the sound of regret. These are just some of the observations of the sonic experience that is Yachtclub101. The new self-titled album, featuring 10 tracks of lavishly decadent jittery jams, is the work of the singular-named Scott. Based in Oakland, California, by way of Bennington, Vermont, Scott’s spot-on synthesizer instincts are more than meets the eye. He’s that good.

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2020 has been a rough year for so many, and Scott is no exception. Faced with the loss of his popular Oakland nightclub, RIC, due to COVID-19, Scott’s plans for three albums in three years shifted to the forefront. The former member of The Lovemakers and collaborator to such artists/ giants as Debbie Harry, Nick Cave and 50 Cent, Scott takes all these wonderfully unique experiences and hammers them into the unique listening experience that solidifies Yachtclub101 as one of the most impressive albums to arrive in 2020. Just when you thought the year was over, or maybe you were hoping 2020 was over, it’s albums like this one that completely change your mindset. It’s collections like Yachtclub101 that help you escape to the dance floor, even it’s just in your living room.

Of the 10 tracks on the album, there are several standouts. My favorites include track three, “Leave Me Alone” with its line jealously runs rampant. In all of the songs, Scott places emphasis on the music bed, with unconventional synth and rock riffs. His voice is lofty, often askew to what you think it might be. The melodies and the vibes of the songs are night club, and if they weren’t electro-pop, they might even be masquerading as EDM. “Leave Me Alone” shows off a genuine side to Scott and his lyrics dig a bit deeper.

The second half of the album features the sing-along, “Shake, Shake, Shake”. Once again Scott captures the beaded sweat of the dance floor in the hardcore beats. Relentlessly reverb with flashy funk, “Shake, Shake, Shake” (track seven) is a near companion piece to the Depeche Mode-esque “Give It To Me”. Scott seduces the listener with a bit more racy delivery and proletariat beats. He also rivals indie darlings The Faint in many ways in the unforgettable “Give It To Me”.

Special shoutout, too, to the opening track, “This Too Will Pass” for its mood-setting start. It’s the perfect opening and the way he has the album put in order, it really primes the listener for a hot night out. I also found track nine, “Mr. Money Bags” to be pretty darn fun. Scott sings (what are you gonna do…when we come for you) with more exhilaration and the cadence (for a split second) reminded me of “Bad Boys” (Inner Circle) or the equal-earworm “Hey Mr. Scott” from The Office. I loved the display of personality in Scott’s voice and the way it evolves in these songs. He can go from modest to caffeinated to heartfelt in a matter of minutes. He keeps it interesting.

John McCall

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