PB&Jams: Yellow Ostrich

By Samantha Webster, The Dartmouth Staff | 4/9/14 9:00am

If you’re lucky enough to have even one person in your life that sends you music suggestions that you actually like, you’re lucky enough. The music video for “Marathon Runner” by Yellow Ostrich was sent to me by someone who pretty much nails my music taste every time. The song (and the two albums I immediately bought after I fell in love with it) is killer. Check it out live above or watch the original music video here.

With a name that incites eye-rolling (try to be more bizarre and intentionally alternative) Yellow Ostrich is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band formed in 2009. Since then, the band has put out five albums, the most recent of which, “Cosmos,” was released in February.

Alex Schaaf’s vocals have an unexpectedsound and the instrumental magic backing him up goes from peaceful to cacophonous at the most perfect intervals, backing off for a few rare snippets of a cappella. Here’s a rundown of three of my favorite songs.

Marathon Runner

Schaaf’s voice takes center stage at the start of the song, filling the role of both vocalist and instrumentalist. The harsh opening confession will pull you right in:

When I was a boy of 17
I know it’s mean
But I told my friend to give up on her dreams
She hated me
But I knew that dreams were for the best of us
Not for the rest of us
And I, I didn’t want to share with anyone


Yes, the name of this song looks like a drunk text to your best friend. But entertainingly enough, the track begins with the first words (can you call them words?) of the song morphing into the driving beat of the track. The declaration toward the beginning — “I think we’ve got a chance” — will give you immediate faith in whatever dilemma you’ve been contemplating lately.

Mary (alternate)

“The Mistress” features two versions of “Mary,” of which the alternate version takes the cake. The song builds with affirmations that lack context then concludes heavily with a concerned accusation.

Mary, you are doing drugs
Don’t you think we know?
You always seemed a little too happy Mary

Check it out live here.

Samantha Webster, The Dartmouth Staff