Yeasayer guitarist Anand Wilder had just woken up, which might explain his confusion about who was calling.

"Vitamin Magazine?" he asked excitedly. "I love vitamins!" He waxed rhapsodic about a few of his favorite nutrients (vitamin D, Emergen-C), then sounded a little disappointed when reminded that Vita.mn is a Twin Cities entertainment publication.

He added, however, "I love Minneapolis."

Wilder has been here enough times to know. Yeasayer, his Brooklyn-based, Baltimore-bred experimental rock band, has played at both 7th Street Entry and the Varsity Theater in the past couple of years, and played last year's high-profile Rock the Garden festival at Walker Art Center alongside the Decemberists and Calexico.

"I always want my girlfriend to visit [Minneapolis] with me, and she's always like, 'Really? Minneapolis?'" Wilder said. "People there are just warm and friendly, and don't have a chip on their shoulder, like people in Chicago."

These are strong words, but Wilder is no stranger to bold statements. In fact, they don't come much bolder than "Odd Blood," Yeasayer's new record. A trippy mixture of '60s melodies and '80s production, "Odd Blood" is part John Hughes movie anthem and part music-major thesis project. The album dares you to like it as often as it reaches out for higher artistic appreciation. Perhaps fittingly, "Odd Blood" has received mixed reviews since its January release. Some reviewers are in love with it, others are confused about its blend of accessible pop and industrial soundscapes, and many are somewhere in between.

When asked whether he thinks "Odd Blood" is an "accessible" record, Wilder paused between bites of cereal. "I think it's more accessible in a very superficial manner," he said. "There are just as many hooks, choruses and riffs as the first album."

"All Hour Cymbals," Yeasayer's 2007 debut, turned the band into critics' darlings, and fans immediately looked forward to a follow-up. The song "Tightrope," a highlight from the 2009 indie charity compilation "Dark Was the Night," did nothing to quell the feverish anticipation.

Wilder referred to "Odd Blood's" opening track, "The Children," as an example of disguised accessibility. Though many critics have singled out the song as an emblem of the record's willful weirdness, Wilder rightly points to the catchiness below the surface, despite the robotic vocals and clanking percussion. "It's got a pretty melody," he said. "It's not the strangest thing in the world." He added that a friend's 3-year-old daughter claims it as a favorite: "She calls it 'Bells Ringing.'"

As for whether Yeasayer planned the shift from the African-influenced songs of "All Hour Symbols" to "Odd Blood's" clamor, Wilder seemed to shrug over the phone.

"It's a process," he said. "You don't know exactly what you want in the beginning. We're kind of experimental that way."

Much has been made of the fact that Yeasayer rented the house of percussionist Jerry Marotta, and used some of his equipment, to record "Odd Blood." Marotta is famous for his work with Peter Gabriel and Tears for Fears, so perhaps the '80s parallels were too hard for journalists to resist. Wilder acknowledged a love for Marotta's work but said the '80s tag is a bit limiting.

"We were just as influenced by that period of music as we were by '90s dance music," he said.

This duality is especially apparent in songs like "Madder Red" and "O.N.E.," in which synths swirl amid programmed beats. The result is something like a mixture of Simple Minds and Technotronic. It's not always a comfortable combination, but when it works, as in the gorgeous "I Remember," the results are dizzying.

On the day of this conversation, Yeasayer was about to embark on a tour with Brooklyn buzz band Sleigh Bells, which stops at First Avenue on Tuesday for a sold-out show. Wilder said that adapting "Odd Blood" songs for the stage -- and deciding how faithful to make their live renditions -- has been a formidable task. "With this tour, we wanted the sound to achieve what we did on the album." However, he added, "For us, the live element of being in a band is a process of revision."

Concertgoers, then, shouldn't necessarily expect carbon copies of "Odd Blood" tracks. For anyone who has seen the band's spontaneous live act, this is a good thing. Take, for example, Yeasayer's appearance on the French website La Blogotheque, on which bands perform songs in unexpected places. For their installment, Yeasayer wanders onto a subway car and eventually breaks into a stripped-down version of its song "Redcave," with band members clapping, banging spoons on metal poles, and generally annoying French commuters.

Wilder compared playing in a band to directing a film in which he stars, constantly assessing his and his bandmates' performances. "The cool thing about playing live is that you're playing the same songs over and over, but at the same time, you get ready to record something new," he said. "By September, we'll definitely have purged the songs from 'Odd Blood.'"

In the meantime, fans have an unpredictable tour to look forward to. Let's just hope Wilder survives next week's show in mean old Chicago.