Yellow Ostrich: A Gem In The Demo Pile

fromKEXP

Alex Schaaf (left) performs as the band Yellow Ostrich, along with drummer Michael Tapper. i i

hide captionAlex Schaaf (left) performs as the band Yellow Ostrich, along with drummer Michael Tapper.

Beth Eisgrau-Heller/KEXP
Alex Schaaf (left) performs as the band Yellow Ostrich, along with drummer Michael Tapper.

Alex Schaaf (left) performs as the band Yellow Ostrich, along with drummer Michael Tapper.

Beth Eisgrau-Heller/KEXP

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It's not often that we book an in-studio session based on one or two unreleased demos from a brand-new band we've never played before. But there was something about the sound of Yellow Ostrich that felt new and fresh and totally original.

I had the same feeling when I first heard Vampire Weekend or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's first demo; there's a similar flair for fun, smart, structured pop with energy and passion. It's something you don't hear very often.

So we took a chance and booked Yellow Ostrich at the Cutting Room Studios in New York City while I was in town doing the show. Turns out there's really one main guy behind the band, Alex Schaaf, and he's backed with a fantastic drummer: Michael Tapper, who has played with We Are Scientists and Bishop Allen. So this tall, young and very friendly guy starts laying down a ton of pedals, a keyboard and his guitar, and as he's playing I realize he's performing the bass parts with his feet, sampling himself, singing and switching between keys and guitar.

Amazing.

I hadn't seen this much multitasking since Andrew Bird stopped by the show; granted, there was less whistling, but that's probably better left to Bird. The set consisted of four very quick-witted, tight pop gems that instantly sent my email blowing up with new fans, and even fellow DJs asking who this was.

Yellow Ostrich has a bright future — it sure made my show sound great that morning. I can't wait for the world to hear it.

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