Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Department of Eagles - In Ear Park (4AD 2008)

A new signing to the great 4AD stable, Department of Eagles are from Brooklyn, NY and are the duo of Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear) and his friend Fred Nicolaus, with additional help from two other members of Grizzly Bear, Chris Taylor and Chris Bear. Their album, 'In Ear Park' features lush concise song-writing, some maudlin pastoral Beach Boys melodies and the feeling that autumn is definitely on its way in. It is joyous and bittersweet all in the same breath, delicate and emotive in its delivery with plaintive urges from the quiet and expressive singer, Rossen. 'Around the Bay' has the swish-swash of water and the stop-start rhythms that ebb and flow with the coming and going of water, while 'No One Does It Like You' is almost funky in its romancing of the girl, cherchez-ing la femme with art-rock and fervent passion. Through a mash of alt.folk, freak folk, sixties psychedelia and the most fragrant smattering of electronica, this is a sweet album, occasionally stumbling into Spanish guitar and complex multi-harmony melodies. Songs start softly but build in intensity till an erupting climax of release. Rossen veers between lyrically literal and vague, with his descriptive reporter's eye being a mere foil for the emotion contained within. The songs are intricately nuanced and carry a feeling rather than a comment and within their core is usually a moment captured forever that the singer blissfully recalls, counting his life in coffee spoons. Department of Eagles, like Grizzly Bear that spawned them, are a careful band working through their songs with a meticulous attention to detail and a deep belief in emotion and its delivery and the cathartic experience of listening to a man's life unfold in your ears. This is a wonderful album from a wonderful label.

Official Department of Eagles
Label bidness

Here's the video to their poppy preppy almost funky 'No One Does it Like You':

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