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Yellow Ostrich

The Mistress
bark120: Yellow Ostrich / The Mistress
bark120   CD / DIGITAL Barsuk Records   May 2021
  1. I Think U Are Great
    • Whale
  2. Hate Me Soon
  3. Hold On
  4. Libraries
  5. Hahahaohhoho
  6. I'll Run
  7. Campaign
  8. Mary
  9. Slow Paddle
  10. Bread
  11. Fog
  12. Mary (Alternate)

The focal point of The Mistress is Schaaf's tender, pleading voice. It's reedy and childlike, and on The Mistress it gets looped and layered, stretched, manipulated; it's stacked up several high and, most often, it's used as an instrument, fleshing out the empty spaces in his bare, searching songs. These songs exist within that push-and-pull, the allure of blind fantasy chased by the bitter sting of reality. Nowhere is this more apparent than in "Mary", a song that begins with optimism and encouragement but crests on a sudden, startling note of despair: "Mary, you are doing drugs — don't you think we know?" Schaaf sings, crestfallen. The confrontation is followed by a crushing silence, before Schaaf's voice — all six harmonizing iterations of it — returns, a soothing cascade of sound.

Alex Schaaf combines kaleidoscopic vocal loops, sparse drums, and electronics into a bubblegum whole with a nuanced, dark edge.
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CD US$12
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FLAC (download)  US$12
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MP3 (download)  US$10

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