Song Of The Week: YACHT—“I Wanna Fuck You Till I’m Dead”

By Dora Boras

This past week, Portland synthpop duo YACHT issued a statement on their Facebook stating that private footage of a sex tape starring Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, the two main members of YACHT, was leaked onto the internet. Fans, pervs and regular people alike who hammered  “YACHT sex tape” into Google were greeted by roughly 3 minutes of SFW “nightvision” footage of a sex tape no one asked for. The band quickly took control of the situation, making the tape available for purchase on their website, only for that page to quickly be replaced with an apology, as the band later revealed that the tape was a hoax. An updated Jezebel article quoted an email from Evans, indicating that the tape was an effort to stimulate buzz around an upcoming video for YACHT’s single, “I Wanna Fuck You Till I’m Dead”. The hoax was received by multiple news and music publications, whose articles called the stunt tasteless, and rightfully so. The experiences of revenge porn victims should not be used as a platform for empathy, and I disagree with this method of publicity to the fullest. But what about the actual music, and the video that followed? Was it worth all this hype? Was it worth YACHT potentially tainting their already unrecognizable name with a media circus gone awry?

The song is okay. It sounds like an average, though catchy, synth-pop melody, that would probably fare well in the background of a commercial for Radio Shack. The memorability of the song is carried not by the music or lyrics itself, but the word “fuck” in the title, and the drama that surrounded the release of the video. Watching the drama unravel around the sex tape was much more entertaining. The video, however, was much more enjoyable.

It opens with the couple flirting at night in their seemingly Ikea-furnished apartment, playfully passing the camera to each other, reminiscent of 2004’s cultural monolith, “1 Night in Paris,” starring Paris Hilton. Hilton, a revenge porn victim herself, used this to launch her name and image into an early 2000s sex icon status. These homemade images are cross cut with scenes of the playing band in front of a blank white set accentuated with fun drawings on a backdrop behind them, all the instruments and outfits in bold colors. Evans, whose short hair and pantsuit calls upon a young Annie Lennox, makes surrealistic faces into the camera as she mouths the words. As the sex tape scenes progress, the happy couple proceed to rip their skin off, revealing oily aliens underneath, vaguely reminding me of a microwaved version of Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama. The footage becomes almost unbearable to watch, at the night-vision effect highlights the greasy, bumpy bodies as they grind against each other, stroking their inhumane appendages.

I can see where they were going with this. Hypothetically, it does seem funny to create a giant scandal around a “leaked” sex tape featuring Becholt and Evans in the throes of their most private moments, only to transform them into horrifying monsters, slyly commenting on the culture of porn and voyeurism we’ve created. YACHT betrays its audience, and the grotesque nature of the footage forsakes us, and YACHT shakes their finger at us saying, “shame on you for not respecting our privacy. Serves you right to be horrified by our slimy alien suits jerking each other off.”

 I don’t hate YACHT, but I don’t care about YACHT, and I want to go back to not caring about YACHT. I definitely would not be reviewing YACHT without the scandal, and I do realize my own hypocrisy as I’m writing about it and therefore contributing to the circus. I’ve listened to YACHT before, and absolutely empathized with them when they addressed their breach of privacy. However, it doesn’t seem to make the music or the video look or sound any better to me. Like most publicity stunts, the affair was tasteless, and victims of revenge porn do not deserve to be made fun of, or their experiences trivialized in the name of mediocre synth-pop music. The song is only okay, and the video had clever intentions, but is now ruined by a weak attempt to stimulate hype. The hoax was entirely anticlimactic, albeit effective, and interestingly arrived in the wake of Radiohead’s disappearance from the internet, whose return provided fans with new, enjoyable music and an interesting video to match. Radiohead’s approach was largely more successful and it didn’t even offend anyone, imagine that. Maybe you need to actually put out good material to get anywhere in this damn industry.

Though the scandal within itself was effective, as it reached of a realm and an audience outside of music journalism, the drama was better than the content itself, and therefore, we should allow YACHT to slide back underneath the radar where they’ve largely remained since their inception.

Watch the music video for “I Wanna Fuck You Till I’m Dead” here.

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