Yellow Ostrich biography
Yellow Ostrich were an American indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York. The band began in 2009 as the solo project of Alex Schaaf, who moved from Wisconsin to New York to pursue a career in music and recorded on a four-track recorder. His first release was a self-titled nine-track album in March 2009; followed by an EP, Carousels, in May of that same year. The second album under the Yellow Ostrich name, entitled Wild Comfort, was released in January of 2010. While pursuing his music degree at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI., Schaaf had the opportunity to open for Michael Tapper's then project Bishop Allen, for whom he played drums at the time. The two musicians made a connection, and when Schaaf moved to Brooklyn at the same time as Tapper in 2010, they decided to perform together officially under the Yellow Ostrich name.
The first release of Yellow Ostrich as a duo came with the third album under the moniker, 2011's The Mistress; which featured the single "Whale." The song picked up support from stations such as KEXP and NPR, attracting a new audience to the band. After the release of the album, the band enlisted multi-instrumentalist Jon Natchez to flesh out the song's layered production live on stage. Natchez provided bass, percussion and trumpet; and would become a permanent member of the band in 2012, following the release of the fourth Yellow Ostrich album, Strange Land. The album was released through Barsuk Records, an independent Seattle label; marking the first Yellow Ostrich album to be released through a label. A 6-track EP, Ghost, was also released in 2012.
January 2013 saw the band release a free live album, recorded at the Bowery Ballroom in New York in November 2012, via the band's Bandcamp page. That same month saw the band play for the first time as a four-piece, including new guitarist Jared Van Fleet (formerly of Voxtrot) and fill-in bassist Zach Rose. In June, Natchez announced his departure from Yellow Ostrich to pursue solo work and his continued touring with David Byrne & St. Vincent. Both Van Fleet and Rose were introduced as full-time members of the band. The first album to be released with the new lineup, entitled Cosmos, was released in February 2014.
On November 7, 2014 the band announced their final show will be December 8, 2014.