Daily Distraction: Float down 'River '93' with Alex Schaaf of Yellow Ostrich

Listen to a previously unreleased song in advance of 'Like a Bird: An Alex Schaaf Anthology (2010-2021),' out later this month on Barsuk

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Alex Schaaf of Yellow Ostrich

After spending some years looping his vocals alongside fuzzy guitars in Brooklyn indie-rock act Yellow Ostrich, Alex Schaaf became a touring member of the Tallest Man on Earth, then moved to Minneapolis and started a new, mellower project, Human Heat. 

Later this month, Barsuk Records will release Like a Bird: An Alex Schaaf Anthology (2010-2021), a compilation of songs released under his own name and his band monikers, plus a new, previously unreleased track with which I've become smitten. "River '93" features Schaaf's smooth-but-searching vocals that call to mind vintage Midlake alongside a perfectly uncomplicated digital beat (think Owen Ashworth) and sparse piano/organ, plus some welcome lap steel guitar to close out the track. Mellow doesn't have to be boring.

“I wrote 'River ‘93' after moving across the country to Minneapolis while trying to figure out how to settle into a new place, something I've done a few times in my life,” Schaaf said in a press release. “It's about trying not to worry about the future too much and to just let things unfold as they will. Which is easier said than done.” 

Indeed it is. Give is a listen below.