Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress

Yellow Ostrich
The Mistress

Yellow Ostrich is the solo work of Alex Schaaf - a Wisconsin born New York resident who has put out a string of excellent avant indie-pop releases as pay-what-you-want downloads from his Bandcamp. The sound is a slightly slicker take on Shins kind of college rock; the guitars are trebly, with spindly yet gripping melodies yet there's all sorts of colourful fills, effects and song dynamics going on, similar to how Kevin Barnes plays around with Of Montreal; the vocals are quite nasal, yet Schaaf is posessed with an excellent range of vocal skills and the multilayerd barbershop sections of the opening and closing track especially are remarkably arranged. If Deerhunter added the same to their sound peopel wold go nuts and Yellow Ostrich rally challenges Bradford Cox's songwriting on a few tracks here, with a few gently shifted yet momentous movements of garage pop.  The songs on this new album are even more accomplished and assured than those of his Wild Comfort album earlier in the year; both of which should be taken together as a sign of an emerging talent that will not remain hidden in the depths of the internet for too long.

Here's Schaff's words about the build-up to it and his thoughts on the release:
This one's actually quite special.  For the past year or so I've been working on one album called The Mistress.  I've released many other things while working on this album, but this has been the one I've kept coming back to.  It's easily the longest time I've ever spent on one album.  That says nothing of its value to the listener, of course, but I will leave that up to you.  I've labored over it for months, and I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out.  It's the first album to feature musicians other than myself.  I got some friends to play drums and guitars and bass here and there.  Most of it is still just me, but there's some nice touches here and there that I couldn't have done otherwise. 

Here's a video for the album's second track The Whale:

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