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Yellow Ostrich

The Mistress (Barsuk)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Sept. 16, 2011

ACL Music Fest Sunday Reviews

Yellow Ostrich

The Mistress (Barsuk)

Following three EPs, Alex Schaaf's one-man melding machine sustains its jagged lo-fi psych-folk across his Yellow Ostrich debut LP, contorting loops like a stripped-down Dirty Projectors. "Libraries burn fast/When there is no past," chants Schaaf atop a mesmerizing chorus on "Libraries," and there's a sense of creative destruction and reassembly throughout. "Hate Me Soon" bangs as aggressively as an upturned White Stripes track, and "Hahahaohhoho" ramps playfully into a heavy fuzz crescendo, the cumulative effect hitting something akin to Tune-Yards' discombobulating barrages. Yet Schaaf's mellower moments, like the tenuously tender "Mary" and swooning "Slow Paddle," are equally entrancing, even if leaning heavily on cooing background vocals. As a recently expanded threepiece, Yellow Ostrich will hopefully develop the textured interplay more fully without sacrificing the intimacy earned here. (11:45am, Google+ stage)

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