The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2014 Records

Reviewed by Austin Powell, March 14, 2014, Music

Yellow Ostrich

Cosmos (Barsuk)

Taking its name and inspiration from Carl Sagan's iconic PBS series, Cosmos finds frontman Alex Schaaf contemplating the profound wonders of the universe and his place in it. "I want to float on by," he repeats in "My Moons" amid a post-Kid A backdrop of lunar guitar blips. Of course, Schaaf's not the kind of guy wanting for a metaphor. Primarily a bedroom project, Yellow Ostrich began with emotive four-track missives full of winding narratives and contorted vocal loops. Expanded to a trio, 2012's Strange Land refined the band's angular alt-rock and yielded a few breakout moments. That process repeats on Cosmos with the addition of former Voxtrot keyboardist Jared Van Fleet. The lasting impression might be the 3-D IMAX version of Sandra Bullock in Gravity: Sonically stunning with mainstream appeal, but the dialogue still makes you cringe some. (9pm, Maggie Mae's)


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