I discovered Yellow Ostrich the same way I found Allen Stone and kicked myself for hours while I replayed their albums for never listening to them before. I’ve always loved the sound of lo-fi, especially those indie musicians like Rogue Wave and Best Coast, and hearing Yellow Ostrich only emphasized that appreciation. Alex Shaaf, frontman of the Chairs, uses this solo project to mix haunting harmonization with beachy strings and rhythmic drumming that gets your feet tapping and body swaying. Yellow Ostrich’s second and more personal album Strange Land is a mix of tunes that Shaaf uses to speak to his past self and to expose those forever daunting questions of who/what you are and where you’re going.
‘Marathon Runner’ is easily my favorite song of the album. Shaaf’s boyish yet powerful vocals and hanging instrumental chords give me chills. It’s a song of striving to find the best, do the best, and essentially be the best; of morphing and reforming yourself into someone new, to either fit in somewhere or to simply see if the shoe fits. It’s an undeniably honest anthem on an album that is top-notch in both originality and talent.
Yellow Ostrich play at 5:15 pm at the Bigfoot stage on Friday, May 25th.