Yellow Ostrich – Ghost EP review

Yellow Ostrich may have released a full-length album earlier this year, but that hasn’t stopped their creative juices from concocting yet another, more aurally uniform piece via their moody and appropriately dubbed Ghost EP.

If the name Alex Schaaf rings a bell, it’s because he also figures as lead singer for Wisconsin-based band The Chairs (not to be confused with the British band). Yellow Ostrich started off as Schaaf’s solo project in 2009. The following year, Schaaf relocated to Brooklyn and added drummer Michael Tapper to the lineup, with bassist Jon Natchez joining in 2011. In the few years they’ve been together, the trio has been nothing less than prolific, releasing 3 albums—Wild Comfort (2009), The Mistress (2011), and Strange Land (2012) as well as 3 EPs—The Serious Kids EP (2010), The Morgan Freeman EP (2010), and Fade Cave EP (2011). Their sound blends indie rock, indie pop and lo-fi influences.

Ghost—the band’s 4th EP—was released on October 22nd, 2012 on Barsuk Records. The tunes are mostly mellow, dreamy slow tracks that bring to mind acts like Radiohead and Grizzly Bear. “Ghost” starts off on a slow, cautious note before building up momentum to brutally honest lyrics while “Here Today” has an ambient-acoustic vibe that diffuses the theme of uncertainty.
“Chills” packs the EP’s strongest punch, with its intense acoustics and drumming whereas the intensely dreamy “Already Gone” may be the album’s most experimental track, with the sound evolving three times in the span of less than three minutes.

Overall, Ghost is a brief, mellow airy-acoustic experience. Compared to previous EPs, Ghost is not as vocally-focused (Fade Cave EP), and is neither Hip Hop-tinged (Morgan Freeman EP), nor dance-based (Serious Kids EP). By adding Ghost to the list, they show their experimental tendency to immerse themselves into a specific genre, making for varied EPs that are unique in style and range while remaining easy on the ears. Some may also check out a live rendition of the EP via their tour that kicked off on October 26th, 2012.

By Natacha Pavlov

Natacha Pavlov is an avid reader, writer, and traveler. Aside from eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate from her native Belgium, she can be found consuming large quantities of tea, falafel and lebneh in the lovely Bay Area.

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