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Touring the forgotten futures of Los Angeles with YACHT

I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler arrives October 16th

When I first became acquainted with Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt a few years back, their deep and enthusiastic love of Los Angeles was no secret — the music video for the title track of their 2011 album Shangri-La is a sweeping, starry-eyed love letter to the City of Angels. But in the years since, they've more or less positioned themselves as the unofficial ambassadors of Los Angeles, between their 5 Every Day app and their radio show on local NPR station KPCC. They also released a line of sunglasses. This is a band that stays busy and stays on message.

A city that's constantly reinventing itself

One of the (very few) things Evans and Bechtolt haven't done in those four years is record another proper album, but all that changes this Friday with the release of I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler. They've been spending the past month rolling out a variety of conceptual stunts that tie into the album's tech-obsessed theme, none of which should be surprising from a band who have found dance floor inspiration from everything from the NSA to the extinction of physical media.

YACHT's preoccupation for the future is inextricable from their love of LA: both are vast, often daunting blank canvases that are full of more questions than answers. And with all this talk about the promises and shortcomings of technology, it seemed fitting to take Claire and Jona on a tour of LA — a city that's continually trying to redefine its version of utopia, then clearing the board and starting over again. From LAX's Theme Building to the neglected lights of the infamous Triforium sculpture, the city is littered with altars to its innumerable futures past.

Here's some selected further reading (and watching) on the locations we visited: