26 October 2008

Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

It might not come as much of a surprise, but Daniel Rossen and Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear haven't always gotten along. Being one of my favourite bands, I don't like to think of any problems going on with Grizzly Bear, but if a little bit of a difference has led to Department of Eagles releasing their new record In Ear Park, well then it's something I'm absolutely willing to put up with.

Grizzly Bear's music seems to alternate between two subtle personalities, led by Ed Droste and Dan Rossen. More delicate and familiar, Dan Rossen has really opened up with his other project, Department of Eagles

Department of Eagles are Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen, who met at the University of New York in 2000. With their first album, The Cold Nose, quietly released in 2003, their next anticipated album has arrived a little more loudly, and with a bit of help from the other members of Grizzly Bear sans-Ed. With 'Deep Blue Sea' being the standout song on Grizzly Bear's Friend EP, I was excited to hear anything of Rossen's that I could get my hands on.

Their second album, In Ear Park, is filled with beautiful harmonies and rich acoustic guitar. It avoids being superior or pretentious, simply by being personal and tender. This doesn't mean that it's simple; as an album, In Ear Park  is quite complex, and so varied and dynamic that it requires a few listens to take it all in. Once you spend some time with it, In Ear Park is an album you can get close to. And what's more, it's really really good! I've listened to it quite a bit, and am more than happy to carry these songs around in my head all day. Also, on the single release of 'No One Does it Like You', they've included Dan Rossen's cover of Jojo's 'Too Little Too Late', which is just great. It sounds so different from the original (thank goodness), and is a beautiful song in its own right. Apparently Dan put it together for Ed's birthday.

I don't want to pitch Department of Eagles against Grizzly Bear. Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between each of their sounds. In truth, listening to In Ear Park was more like getting to know one side of Grizzly Bear a whole lot better.  And while I'm waiting for Grizzly Bear's third record to come out, nothing could tie me over more perfectly.

Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You.mp3

- Emily


Robert Henson said...

"filled with beautiful harmonies and rich acoustic guitar...pretentious...personal and tender"