There are certain albums that resonates with listeners during a specific or important times in their lives, and Yellow Ostrich’s Strange Land is mine. This “stuff” between graduation and starting life has taken its toll on me, and Yellow Ostrich has been my go-to album for a few weeks now. With anthem-like songs dominating the first half of the album, “Elephant King” and “Marathon Runner” are two incredibly breathtaking songs at the core–with fuzzy guitars and a hint of garage rock, the lyrics make it beautiful; “I am a marathon runner, my legs are sore, and I’m anxious to see, what am I running for?” What perfect lyrics for an inbetweener, a person searching for reason in life, and I think Yellow Ostrich is seeking the same thing. While listening to their debut album, The Mistress, you could hear the naivety and innocence of the album–very raw and still searching for a sound. However, within the whole sophomore album, there is reason, there is a connection that they found. They matured into great musical craftsmen, creating hauntingly abrupt indie rock songs–with horns included. And while their lead singer may not have a classically “good” voice (much like Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame, yet we still gobble up every morsel of music he releases), and that shows that the indie world is more interested in how music is presented rather than if it’s “pretty”–hence the escape of auto tune that has plagued Top 40 radio. Yellow Ostrich has all the qualities of a great indie band, they are raucous but in a controlled way. They have come so far since their first album, and Strange Land is a testament to their dedication and ability to grow within the band to create an album that is meaningful with a little bit of fun added. While this album focuses on the first person a lot, it makes the album much more relatable, suggesting that the listeners have the same emotions that Alex Schaaf has–bringing the idea that we are all humans and we all experience the same things. I may be thinking too much into the album, but it’s one I’ve listened to many times, and each time I observe a new facet of it.