Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Yellow Ostrich: You Are the Stars
Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk/Southbound)

Although taking its title from Carl Sagan's 80s television series about the universe, the cosmological and astral references are musically few on this electronica-cum-alt.rock album by the Brooklyn four-piece around songwriter Alex Schaaf.

The music beyond the electrobeats and sonic washes most often sounds grounded and even gritty, but it is in Schaaf's lyrics and an edgy ambience (Shades, the most atmospheric My Moons) where you hear the sense of wonderment (the ballad You are the Stars and the folksy Don't Be Afraid) and mystery (In the Dark, Any Wonder).

Yellow Ostrich could have taken this into obvious directions (dreamy and weightless Eno, the rolling tropes of Can) but have, in Schaaf's words, tried to inject amazement into daily life in a big city. That's a harder call.

It's not always successful but the joyous questioning of How Do You Do It and the gentle enticement of Things Are Fallin' which stretches and bends into economic prog-rock deliver most successfully.

This isn't an essential album but its ambition, marriage of romanticism and realism, and some repeat-play songs make you curious about this band which has released a number of albums and EPs since 2009.

Interesting, but it requires time and repeat plays before it hooks.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Greg Trooper: The Williamsburg Affair (52 Shakes)

Greg Trooper: The Williamsburg Affair (52 Shakes)

According to his website, country-rocker Trooper recorded these songs with his touring band 15 years ago in a Brooklyn studio in just four days, then he moved back to Nashville and the tapes were... > Read more

Lee Hazlewood: A House Safe for Tigers (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

Lee Hazlewood: A House Safe for Tigers (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

Following the release of the collection The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides, comes this reissue of a film soundtrack, a film which by every account was pretty bizarre. Filmed on the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

DOUGLAS LILBURN HONOURED (2014): The composer with the farmer's hands

DOUGLAS LILBURN HONOURED (2014): The composer with the farmer's hands

Here's an odd, post-modern idea for an episode of Doctor Who. The good doctor finds himself in London's BBC Radiophonic Music Workshop in 1963 where techno-boffins are fiddling with... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Mick Jagger;The Very Best of Mick Jagger

THE BARGAIN BUY: Mick Jagger;The Very Best of Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger is not the kind of multimillionaire rock star you would ever feel some sympathy for: more money than the Anglican Church, property interests across the globe, a knighthood, fashion... > Read more