YACHT - Shangri-La
YACHT - Shangri-La

YACHT - Shangri-La


Deluxe White Vinyl 2XLP with 4 slipcovers and a gatefold jacket with lyrics and spot-gloss. Yeah, it's luxurious. Features Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire), I Walked Alone, and Shangri-La. Comes with an instant digital download. 

Shangri-La, YACHT’s second album for DFA Records and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed full-length, See Mystery Lights, is the duo’s most thematically ambitious work to date, showcasing an exponential evolution in songwriting and sharp, surreal hooks. When the darkly anthemic track, “Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire),” was released digitally in April, YACHT offered a window onto the new album. Members Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans described the track as an “apocalyptic fight song, a cautionary tale, a science-fiction story for our particular eco-sociopolitical landscape.” These themes are echoed throughout the conceptually unified Shangri-La. In contrast to the meditative, mantra-esque quality of their debut, Shangri-La is a narrative work.

The album explores mankind’s eternal pursuit of Utopia with a soundtrack comprised of compelling pop melodies, fiercely druggy grooves and an endlessly diverse canon of influences. The message here is that the future is a blank slate upon which anything can be imposed. Shangri-La is literally YACHT’s idea of Utopia: a place made of songs. Never a band to stay in one place sonically, visually or philosophically, YACHT transformed themselves, taking advantage of a proper studio for the very first time and using more live instrumentation than ever before.

Recording in the West Texas desert without an engineer, the duo employed a kaleidoscope of genres—ranging from disco to psychedelia, from krautrock to punk—all culminating in pure pop. Shangri-La was performed, mixed, and recorded by Bechtolt and Evans themselves. The Utopian illustration featured in the album’s encyclopedic cover design was painted by iconic science fiction illustrator Jim Burns, three-time Hugo Award-winner.


  1. Utopia
  2. Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)
  3. I Walked Alone
  4. Love in the Dark
  5. One Step
  6. Holy Roller
  7. Beam Me Up
  8. Paradise Engineering
  9. Tripped and Fell in Love
  10. Shangri-La
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YACHT - Chain Tripping
YACHT - Chain Tripping

YACHT - Chain Tripping


1) (Downtown) Dancing
2) Hey Hey
4) Loud Light
5) Blue On Blue
7) Sad Money
8) California Dali
9) Stick it to the Station
10) Little Instant 

“We wanted to find a way to interrogate technology more deeply,” explains Claire L. Evans, one-third of the pop group YACHT. “From the ground up,” adds her partner and YACHT founder Jona Bechtolt. The group—rounded out by longtime collaborator Rob Kieswetter—would know: their seventeen-year career has been marked by a series of conceptual stunts, experiments, and attempts to use technology “sideways.” Even the band’s name speaks to this: YACHT is an acronym for Young Americans Challenging High Technology

Chain Tripping is their seventh album and third with DFA Records. Recorded between the band’s home in Los Angeles and Marfa, Texas, the ten-song collection marks a shift in the group’s relationship with technology. Rather than trying to comment on existing platforms from within their own filter bubble, the band stripped their process down and rebuilt it using a technology entirely new to them—Artificial Intelligence, and more specifically, machine learning. 

In order to compose Chain Tripping, YACHT invented their own AI songwriting process, a journey of nearly three years. They first tried to discover any existing YACHT formulas by collaborating with engineers and creative technologists to explore their own back catalogue of 82 songs using machine learning tools. Eventually they created their own working method, painstakingly stitching meaningful fragments of plausible nonsense together from extensive, seemingly endless fields of machine-generated music and lyrics, themselves emerging from custom models created with the help of generous experts in neural networks, deep learning, and AI.

The band’s characteristically frenetic pop sound is toned down on songs like “(Downtown) Dancing,” a scotch-tape disco track that marries an anxious, funky bass groove with the lo-fi sound of the NSynth, a neural synthesizer that uses a machine learning process called latent space interpolation to imagine new sounds in between traditional instrumentation. The NSynth appears all over Chain Tripping, notably on the jewel-like “Blue on Blue,” a euphoric love song wound with surprisingly omnidirectional melodies. The generative composition process “broke us out of a mold of concise, formal, four-bar patterns and let us accept longer, meandering riffs,” explains Kieswetter; like most of Chain Tripping’s standout tracks, the song contains lyrical fragments that coalesce, collapse, and reform with fluid ease. The process also surfaced surreal idioms, like “Loud Light’s” anthemic “I’m so in love / I can feel it in my car,” or the lovely phrase “palm of your eye,” which pins the lilting chorus of the driving “SCATTERHEAD” into place, a song that splits the difference between postmodern rock and no-wave dance music with wiggly ease.

We saw this album as an opportunity to teach the machine our values, our history, our community, and our influences,“ adds Evans. “This record is a product of a technological moment that is rapidly evolving. It taught us everything we wanted to know about ourselves: how we work, what moves us, and which ambiguities are worth leaning into. We didn’t set out to produce algorithmically-generated music that could ‘pass’ as human. We set out to make something meaningful. Something entirely our own.”

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YACHT - See Mystery Lights
YACHT - See Mystery Lights

YACHT - See Mystery Lights


Single LP on WHITE vinyl in a beautiful, spot-glossed cover. Features Summer Song and Psychic City, among like 8 other tracks or so. Includes an instant digital download. 


  1. Ring the Bell
  2. The Afterlife
  3. I'm In Love With a Ripper
  4. It's Boring / You Can Live Anywhere You Want
  5. Psychic City
  6. Summer Song
  7. We Have All We've Ever Wanted
  8. Don't Fight the Darkness
  9. I'm In Love With a Ripper (Party Mix)
  10. Psychic City (Version)
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YACHT - Summer Song 12"
YACHT - Summer Song 12"

YACHT - Summer Song 12"


dfa 2207 / 2008


A1. Summer Song

A2. I'm In Love With A Ripper (Party Mix)

B. It's Boring / You Can Live Anywhere You Want

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