Yellow Ostrich - Cosmos (Barsuk Records) 
Yellow Ostrich - Cosmos

New York outfit Yellow Ostrich have just finished a tour of the UK which is annoying as I would have recommended that you get out to see them but instead I shall have to speak to the feet of the gig going public of mainland Europe. This album kicks off with 'Terrors' which is somewhere between a darker, heavier Dutch Uncles and a more accessible Radiohead before 'Neon Fists' goes full Radiohead with an American twang. Gorgeous stuff. 'Shades' has a gnarly, spaced out feel to the jerking guitar riffs which is soothed only be the gentle, smooth vocals and steady percussive shake. You could easily imagine REM or Arcade Fire pulling together an album like this and having it hailed as a great piece of creativity so I am hoping people heed this call and give these guys a listen. For instance, the bleak Ultravox throb of 'My Moons' is simply beautiful stuff in the darkest of ways which should draw in a very specific but lucrative audience.

The electronic hum that heralds 'You Are The Stars' is pure U2 at their peak but the song that follows is far more angular, awkward and quirky to be performed by a man in a leather jump suit and sunglasses. 'In The Dark' starts like an early morning walk on a cold, pebbly beach before growing in to a quietly beautiful sunrise as the warmth ripples throughout the music. But then, oh my, 'Any Wonder' comes sashaying in like Beck in platform shoes and 'How Do You Do It', despite a slow start, turns out to be quite the indie-pop anthem which sounds more Scottish or Irish than it does East coast American. The album winds up with the beautifully sparse 'Things Are Fallin'' which builds to an Elbow sized climax before the closing track 'Don't Be Afraid' gently brings the listener back down to earth like a feather falling from a bird only to settle on soft, dewy grass. Yellow Ostrich have a silly name, that's a given, but the music they create is borne of passion, craft, care and attention - all qualities I wholeheartedly support. Grand stuff.

More information:

Live Dates:

10th May - Homeplugged, Brussels
11th May - Astrolabe, Orleans
12th May - La Peniche, Lille
13th May - Espace B, Paris
14th May - Bogen F, Zurich
15th May - Rotown, Rotterdam
16th May - Tivoli Spiegelbar, Utrecht
18th May - Gebaude 9, Cologne
19th May - Gruner Jager, Hamburg
20th May - About Blank, Berlin
22nd May - Stengrade, Copenhagen
23rd May - Grand Central, Stockholm