It’s been 15 years since Warner Bros. presented us with an answer to the burning philosophical question, “What would your life look like if you said yes to everything (specifically while living within a fantasy romcom universe)?” with Yes Man, a movie which, if you haven’t seen it, has a plot that sounds like an AI-generated script for a mid-’90s Jim Carrey vehicle. As unnecessary as the mid-’00s Jim Carrey vehicle was, though, its open-minded premise—which results in, and I can’t remember why, Carrey singing someone down from a ledge with a performance of that Third Eye Blind song—did stick with me over the past decade and change: What if I did say yes to an opportunity I previously never would’ve entertained?
Channeling a similar (or possibly the same) wavelength, Alex Lahey’s third album is all about taking risks, its title The Answer Is Always Yes seemingly providing a glimpse into the studio process wherein the Australian songwriter permitted significantly more collaboration early in the writing process than she ever had before, inviting peers to help sculpt the songs while they were still malleable. “I feel like if you’re saying ‘yes’ and you’re exploring, you’re always moving,” Lahey shared in a press statement to introduce the diverse sounds of the LP. “That’s the part of life that I’m in right now. I just don’t wanna stop.”
With the album arriving this Friday via (appropriately) Liberation Records, Lahey said yes to compiling a playlist which isn’t necessarily a set of influences on the sounds of the mostly-good-times scuzz-rock of the new LP, but certainly its say-yes energy. “In the spirit of the title for my new record The Answer Is Always Yes,” she shares of what she calls her “Songs of Yes” playlist, which spans the distance from the ’70s symphonic-prog outfit that couldn’t not be on a playlist with this theme to the mid-’00s hip-hop jam that would forever change the way we say the word “inconspicuous,” “here’s a collection of some of my favorite songs and artists that include the word ‘yes’ (or ‘yeah,’ let’s not get too technical).”
Check it out below, and pre-order the record here.
Baccara, “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie”
A true dance floor filler. I love a song that has lyrics that don’t reaaally make sense, but no one cares because it has such a fun spirit. This is definitely one of those.
Gang of Youths, “Say Yes to Life”
One of Australia’s best bands. This song truly captures the primal human essence of persevering through life, no matter what it throws at us. It’s a big, bold, and beautiful song.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Hysteric” (Acoustic Version)
One of my favorite bands of all time. This song is my favorite off It’s Blitz, and the acoustic version they did of it on the deluxe version is mesmerizing.
End of Fashion, “O Yeah”
The first mosh pit I was ever in was for this band and to this song. It still rips, man.
Buddy Holly, “(Ummm, Oh Yeah) Dearest”
One of the earliest to lay the foundations of rock music as we know it today. I love how sweet Buddy’s songs are, and this one is no different. I wonder what he’d think of rock music now...
Man, Yes are a fucking weird band, but they also slap. Here’s another opus from them—I love the sounds in this song and the momentum straight out of the gates.
Elliott Smith, “Say Yes”
I’m quite late to the party when it comes to Elliott Smith, but I’ve become more and more aware of his artistry and life the more time I spend in East LA. His songwriting is truly unbelievable and required listening for anyone who writes/appreciates songs.
Tame Impala, “Yes I’m Changing”
I’m forever captivated by Tame Impala. Currents is one of my favorite records, and this is one of the best songs on it. Nice one, Kev.
To be honest I didn’t actually know this song or this band before making this playlist, but this tune is really beautiful. I love how it’s been recorded and am stoked to have stumbled across it!
Roxy Music, “Oh Yeah!”
Roxy Music always makes me think of my mum and her friends who introduced me to Bryan Ferry’s music. Roxy Music has such an unmistakable sound that really captures the time and place it was made, and this tune is no exception.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?, “Dawn of the Dead”
One of the forgotten classics of the indie sleaze era! I rediscovered this song relatively recently and it’s such a banger. I love how big it sounds.
Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris, “Yeah!”
No description needed. The ultimate “yeah” song.