Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress (2011)

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My introduction to New York by way of Wisconsin indie rock trio Yellow Ostrich happened while gearing up for my first CMJ excursion. Paste Magazine's main CMJ event was a concert at Brooklyn Bowl featuring the trio (and Kopecky Family Band but I digress). I didn't end up going to that event but made a mental note to check out Yellow Ostrich for not other reason but curiosity and the tendency for Paste to know what I want to hear before I'm aware of it myself.

Yellow Ostrich's The Mistress was actually self-released last year but Barsuk Records decided to re-release it when it signed the band. A brilliant decision if we're being totally honest. My first taste of the trio came in the form of "WHALE", which I could've quickly written off as being silly and nonsensical and yet, it features layers and layers of pitch perfect vocals (which happen to be layers of Alex Schaaf's voice), the sort of gently evolving songcraft I love, and talent that belies the song's effervescent whimsy. And as fun as the record can be, there's also an emotional sincerity in Schaaf's tenderhearted tenor. It elevates seemingly unimportant concerns into the realm of caring.

The Mistress straddles the line between serious and fun in a way that's genuine and ultimately enjoyable. And after energetic songs like "Hahahaohhoho" and "WHALE", a sentimental ballads like "Mary" and "Slow Paddle" hit the ball right out of the park. An album positively brimming with talent and with no shortage of infectious tunes, The Mistress is a definitely must-listen for anyone looking for another band to love.

Get a taste of Yellow Ostrich with their video for "WHALE":

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