Review | Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress

Yellow Ostrich – 13 Mary (alternate)

For a band who landed on everyone’s radar by doing amazing covers of amazing indie songs, Yellow Osrich has managed to, in their debut album The Mistress, create a wealth of new tunes that are entirely unlike anything we’ve ever heard from them. They’ve gone from putting a new take on others’ songs, to creating entirely original songs that are just as endearing and catchy.

Yellow Ostrich is fronted by Wisconsin-native Alex Schaaf who currently calls New York home. When he moved to New York, he blindly contacted drummer

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Michael Tapper – who’s played with We Are Scientists – to see if he knew any drummers available for his project and ended up with Tapper as his drummer. Which is really all anyone can dream about when putting together their band, right? Adding in horn player Jon Natchez, Schaff was able to turn his project into a full-fledged band.

And the change is apparent. Schaff traded in his earlier simple songs for immensely smart and layered lo-fi indie pop tunes. ‘WHALE’, the second track off the album, has so many sounds it’s hard to keep track of. There’s Schaaf’s voice, drums, cymbals, guitars, bass, lots of OH-OH-OH-OH-ing, and at one point a screeching noise that I’m just going to assume is the sound of a real live Ostrich (though maybe that’s a bit of a stretch).

Schaaf’s boyish voice makes the songs smart and catchy but there’s depth too. On ‘Hold On’, in between more loops of OH-OH-OH, Schaaf sings, “Now that we’ve started, it’s sad to see it end. But I’ll try to make it, as long as it’s all right for me to pretend. And I’ll hold on, and I’ll hold on, for you.”

Though the album is simply being re-released on Barsuk Records, there are three new songs included. Which means it’s a necessary purchase for new and old fans alike.

And to add more good news Yellow Ostrich is touring with labelmates Ra Ra Riot this fall, which is sure to be an amazing show. They’ll be at the Paradise on October 20th. Check ’em out!

Buy The Mistress

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