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 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.
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.