Through the combination of ethereal electronic ambiance, rhythmic diversity and introspective lyrics, Yellow Ostrich takes listeners on an emotional journey in its new album, Cosmos.
The album begins with a layering of rhythmically ambiguous electronic tones building unusual harmonic progressions that create an almost supernatural sound. This is a common theme throughout the album.
Against the muddled background sound is often heavy guitar and straightforward vocals, making the music more tangible and accessible. It gives listeners a simple and relaxed feeling with a sense of uncertainty underneath.
Despite stylistic commonalities throughout the album, each song introduces a unique step in the journey through the Cosmos. “My Moons” proposes philosophical questions to listeners through harmonized vocals, “Things are Fallin’” includes maracas in a mixed-meter against the remaining instruments and vocals. “Shades” adds a percussive piano line and memorable, upbeat guitar riffs.
The lyrics in Cosmos tend to paint a harsh, down-to-earth picture of reality. For example, “How Do You Do It” includes lyrics such as “how do you start when you know it’s going to end” and “how do you sleep at night when you know you’re going to die.”
The album as a whole, however, does not reflect this somber mood. The music behind the lyrics is relatively uplifting. Yellow Ostrich does not try to portray a pessimistic view of reality. Rather, the band shows the rawest forms of reality through its lyrics and demonstrates through the music that there is much more to it than we often think about.
After a lot of deep soul searching, the record ends on a happy note with a light, simple texture and a relaxing conclusion.
On Cosmos, an album that begins with “Terrors” and ends with “Don’t Be Afraid,” Yellow Ostrich tells a story and brings listeners along for the ride.
— Stephanie Zimmerman
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