Yellow Ostrich "Soft (Barsuk)"
From Barsuk Records:
Soft is the gorgeous new LP from Yellow Ostrich. It takes its name from the lyric that stands as a thesis for the entire album, a beautiful and haunting rumination on the pitfalls and pressures of traditional masculinity and on band founder Alex Schaaf’s drive toward vulnerability and tenderness as core tenets of his being.
The album’s ten tracks represent the first new music in seven years to be released by Schaaf under the Yellow Ostrich moniker, since he paused the project to explore new musical identities on a handful of excellent self-released albums (from which much of the best music is included on the stellar compilation Like A Bird: An Alex Schaaf Anthology 2010-2021).
The result is a sound that feels warm and effortless, but packs a real sonic weight. Pitch-shifted vocals, subtle electronic treatments, and drum machines skirt the edges of an otherwise traditional guitar-band setup, adding more varied textures while hinting at wilder emotional currents underneath a placid surface.
On Soft, despite all the potential volatility of life lived with other people and the challenges of navigating our own self-inflicted limitations, Schaaf is beginning to feel content with the person he is… while remaining eager to keep growing. “I’m proud of the way I am,” he says, before adding, “even if my definition of that changes every day.”