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Department of Eagles - While Were Young
Published:
Aug 18, 2010
Total plays:
26,224
Saved:
103 times
Why do we like this?
You're planning a road trip and compiling a well thought-out music selection. You're into various genres, especially folk-rock. Do yourself a solid and do not venture out without Department of Eagles' Archive 2003-2006 in your possession! If you like (or love) Grizzly Bear then I can almost guarantee that you'll adore Department of Eagles. Why? Because it consists of Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor (of Grizzly Bear). Who'da thunk it?!

Department of Eagles was actually formed years before Grizzly Bear by Daniel Rossen and roommate Fred Nicolaus in their NYU dorm room. The guys were considerably limited in their production gear and ended up borrowing a microphone from Chris Taylor, their neighbor, who then became Department of Eagle's producer and recording engineer and, later on, Daniel Rossen's bandmate in Grizzly Bear. Don't you love the incestuousity? The duo planned on spreading their music only among friends, and thank god that didn't last because it'd be an honest shame to have deprived the general public of such beautifully compiled ear candy.

Their sophomore album (and their first one too!) goes in through your ears, up to your mind, down your shivering spine while branching out through your heart, limbs, and -- might I say -- even to your delicates. The album emphasizes on sweet hymnal-esque harmonies, infectious melodies, many an acoustic guitar and banjo plucked, a punchy piano here and there, classic drum lines that you can't not tap an appendage to, a sporadic xylophone, some violin and cello, and even a harmonium (if my ears serve me correctly). You'll find that some of the tracks start off quiet and simple only to be built upon throughout the song in an angelically orchestral yet powerful approach; then you suddenly realize that by the time you're nearing the end of a song, you've been wildly throwing your body every which way but you can't pinpoint when that thrashing began... or is that just me?

I wasn't exactly sure if the tracks on this album were indeed from 2003 to 2006 but the fact that I couldn't tell speaks volumes about the timelessness it encapsulates. I found this excerpt on the band's website:

Basically, before we recorded In Ear Park we had a long period of messing around in various circumstances, producing a lot of songs that never really saw the light of day. Some of it is very proto: way back in 2004 Daniel had this period where he was making these beautiful little suites using NYU practice room pianos, and we've included a lot of those. Other stuff comes from a period in 2006 when we tried and failed to make an album at this studio in Berkeley, CA. Also there's also a song we recorded with Chris Taylor that's one of few fast-paced rage type songs we've done. So yeah. It's not a collection of new material but rather a fun romp down memory lane that I hope will appeal.


My 60-year-old father thoroughly enjoyed this album. Need I say more?
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