What is left for Yacht Rock Revue to prove? This top-notch group of musicians has already rocked onstage with John Oates, Eddie Money, and both versions of the band Player. They've trademarked the term "yacht rock", both metaphorically and literally (U.S. Registration Number 3834195). From humble beginnings in a basement, touring in partnership with Live Nation and Sirius XM, they now headline sold-out shows across the country, from Webster Hall in New York to the Wiltern in L.A. While rising from bars to amphitheaters, they've ticked every box on the Rock Star Accomplishments bingo card. Except for one: Writing and singing their own songs.
Yacht Rock Revue's first original record, Hot Dads In Tight Jeans, aptly embodies the band in both title and in essence. An album of ten songs inspired by the smoooooth sounds of the Seventies and Eighties, Hot Dads In Tight Jeans is as plush and shiny as Kenny Loggins' beard.
Over the years, YRR have turned themselves into human wine spritzers, playing 120 to 150 shows a year, mastering Yacht Rock's slick chords and mellow grooves, and partying like it's 1979. What began as a joke among friends soon put a ripple in the zeitgeist, starting a national trend through YRR's concerts, lauded as "unabashedly joyous affairs" by Entertainment Weekly. They accumulated an extensive wardrobe of white belts and polyester shirts. Yacht Rock Revue were revered and well-compensated! Their life was a tenor sax solo! This is what every musician wants.
But even as YRR was sailing the smooth seas of tribute-band superstardom, and the band members all became dads, Nick Niespodziani, the group's singer, guitarist and spiritual leader, was still writing original songs. These new tunes had the spirit of Yacht Rock, but were more modern - akin to Phoenix or Air, the hip bands that adapted Yacht for a younger audience. They brought the songs to a hot producer, Ben Allen, who's worked with Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective and Neon Indian. Allen gave the songs a lustrous shine, for both new audiences and their ever-loyal fans, the Nation of Smooth. Niespodziani and bandmate Pete Olson even co-wrote a song, "Big Bang", with Yacht Rock master Matthew Wilder, famous for his massive 1983 hit "Break My Stride".
"Step", the record's first single, is a peppy number replete with falsetto and bumping bass, a cross between the Bee Gees and Steely Dan's "Peg". It's also the mission statement for the album in a way, because it's about deciding who you want to be, and making space for that in your life. The seven-piece band display tight chops, and the songs incorporate Yacht Rock Revue's sense of humor, especially on the funky, pro-margarita "Bad Tequila", the flute-fired "Another Song About California" and opening track "The Doobie Bounce", where Niespodziani brags, "I used to sleep on couches/Now I sleep on nicer couches."
While others in YRR's position stick with the tried-and-true, Niespodziani hopes the album will let them welcome aboard new fans, too. To paraphrase a notable mariner... they're gonna need a bigger yacht.
- Transparent Orange Vinyl
- The Doobie Bounce
- Bad Tequila
- You're Welcome Baby
- Big Bang
- Another Song About California
- House In the Clouds
- Change of Scene
- Can't Stop
- My Favorite Stardust