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The Yellow Ostrich
This Mistress
Barsuk Records
www.yellowostrich.com


There is something about garage bands that draws audiences to their hearth and the Yellow Ostrich, fronted by singer-songwriter Alex Schaaf, is no exception. The band's blend of indie pop and acoustic rock has a naturalness reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne and simplicity reflective of Iron & Wine. The band's new release, The Mistress, from Barsuk Records, demonstrates their proclivity for catchy rhythmic movements without attaching a lot of garnishments to clutter their songs.

Tracks like "Libraries," and "HahaHa HooHooHoo" depend heavily on Schaaf's vocal movements to erect knolls along the melodic progressions, while numbers like "Campaign" and "Hate Me Soon" depend on the rhythmic pulses to create traction in the melodies. The tunes have a skeletal structure which gives them a folksy texture. Ballads like "Slow Paddle" and "Fog" are aurally soothing and turn into contemplative musings through "Mary" while the jangly tambourine of "I'll Run" adds a jubilant vibe into the album and "Think U Are Great" showcases a psychedelic flange in the guitar chords. The lyrical themes have relevance to private lives, like in "Hate Me Soon" as Schaaf explains, "You're gonna hate me soon if you don't understand / That what we're doing here has got no long term plan / You're gonna hate me soon if you do not desist / From what I kindly term as your never-ending kiss / You're gonna hate me soon."

The Yellow Ostrich make music for themselves. The lyrics are reflections of their private lives, and the music reflects their individual tastes. Still in the stages of being a garage band, The Yellow Ostrich make catchy tunes just right for themselves.

-Susan Frances

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