on deck: yellow ostrich at black cat

11 Apr

Sometimes, I am skeptical of bands for no reason. I have a love/hate relationship with many music blogs, and often when I see a band popping up on the blogs that I consider too hipster for their own good, I immediately assume I will find the band boring.

Sometimes bands that fall into this category don’t thrill me upon first listening, but upon second and third revisiting I hear them with new ears. Maybe my musical IQ just isn’t high enough to understand the greatness behind bands like the XX and Devotchka right away, because I gotta tell ya- I considered those guys snoozeville for a long time. But I’ve since come around.

Such is the case with Yellow Ostrich. I didn’t dislike them at first, but I didn’t feel compelled to listen more (well, to be fair, they only had one album to explore at the time). I felt neutral but unexcited by them, kind of how one might feel about drinking a Yuengling. You don’t want to rave about it/jump up and down/tweet+Instagram it, but it goes down just fine.

However, in the world of Steph, Yellow Ostrich upgraded itself to microbrew status last month with the release of their second album, Strange Land. GD, for a relatively unknown group from Wisconsin (/now Brooklyn), these guys are turning out pop gold. Seriously, listen to “Elephant Man,” and tell me if you can’t sing along to every word after three listens.

Also note the endearing album title- Alex Schaaf, the band’s only permanent member, spent two decades confined to small-town Wisconsin before setting his sights on Brooklyn to pursue his music career. Strange land, indeed. That history very much displays itself in Yellow Ostrich’s sound, which is all at once earnest, honest, optimistic, hip, and romantic. It’s a pleasant head-bopping experience with juuust enough edge to keep it interesting.

See them tomorrow at Black Cat!

From The Mistress, “Whale”


From Strange Lands, “Marathon Runner”


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