In the months before Yellow Ostrich released their debut album, “The Mistress,” they just seemed to appear. They released the album for free on their Bandcamp site but then put out a formal release, complete with three extra tracks.
Though this band contains members of Fool’s Gold and Beirut, the main focus of the group seems to be on Alex Schaaf. His vocals have a high-pitched yet smooth quality about them and combine well with the masterful instrumentation and wonderful vocal harmonies. As a band, they are hard to pin down. They are a pop band at their most basic level, but there’s also a hefty bit of ambient and experimental elements here. From the experimental “WHALE” to the poppy “Hate Me Soon” to the subdued harmonies of “Hold On,” their sound undergoes small fluctuations between tracks that keep the album fresh even after repeated listens.
Yellow Ostrich might have come out of nowhere, but they are certainly not going back. They cannot — not after putting out such an uplifting and excellently constructed album. From open to close, this album features plenty of mood and tone changes, changes in tempo, and even slight changes in style, but one thing stays the same: its amazing quality.
Focus Tracks: “Hate Me Soon,” “Mary,” “Bread” and “WHALE”