Cosmos by Yellow Ostrich
Yellow Ostrich first appeared on the Top 31 in 2010, with their third album The Mistress. The song “Whale” from that album played a big influence in my and my then-2-year-old son’s musical repertoire, as any time this unbelievably catchy song would come on, he’d pick up a little toy whale and run around the house in childlike bliss (and I’d end up doing the same).
Looking back to 2012, I made a mistake not including the band’s fourth album Strange Land on that year’s Top 31. But I’m correcting the problem here, with the band’s fifth and final album, Cosmos. Schaaf is a master of the build. Most of his songs start out slow and quiet, then climb to a crescendo of excitement that makes you bounce in your chair. If you’re only now discovering Yellow Ostrich for the first time, I recommend going back to The Mistress first, and then Cosmos. They’re both good albums, but Mistress will stick around in my playlists for a long time to come.
This post is a touch bittersweet. On November 7, this message went out on Yellow Ostrich’s Facebook page:
on December 8, Yellow Ostrich will be playing our final show as a band. We’ve had an amazing few years together, and we couldn’t be more grateful and satisfied, but the time has come to move on to the next thing.
Some musicians use band names to mark specific periods of their musical lives. Even though Yellow Ostrich originated as a solo project of lead singer/songwriter Alex Schaaf (from Brooklyn — yes, so far the Top 31 is nothing but Brooklyn bands), declaring that the band will no longer be together is a way for Schaaf to move on, to draw a line in the sand. Human Heat is his next project, and there is only a 4-song EP out right now, but I’m excited to see what they have in store. The name of the band is less important; with Alex Schaaf at the helm, musical ingenuity will follow.