Department of Eagles – Phantom Other

Akhil mentioned Department of Eagles briefly in one of his brilliant song of the day collections (check them out here and here for oh-so-much music), but this song, and the album In Ear Park, totally deserve a post of their own.

Department of Eagles is the product of Daniel Rosen and Fred Nicolaus, who met at NYU in 2000. Rosen joined Grizzly Bear in 2004, just in time to contribute to it’s masterpiece, Yellow House and enlisted the help of his band mates for the recording of In Ear Park. The past few days have found me stuck in a compulsory cycle between the two albums; they call to each other, near perfect compliments. As a result, I’m so sappy and romantic right now I don’t know what to do with myself.

“Phantom Other” opens in defeat: “Alright, we’ll do this your way” Rosen croons over vaguely classical, utterly haunting arpegios before unleashing an inexplicably devastating chord change, unexpected and visceral. One key note, a down instead of an up, struck with force – his bitter conviction – and my gut is roiling (1:03).The song now sounds like a sunny day in the sixties gone wrong; something sinister in the harmonies, one note gone awry, one rain cloud beckoning the impending storm. And that’s the attraction. The song explodes, “My god in heaven/what were we thinking?” cast toward the clouds by a frantic pedal-steel, a twenty-second divergence into a kaleidoscopic bar-room cabaret, and it’s over.

The storm has passed. “Look out/Look Out/We gotta get out now.”

From In Ear Park:

Department of Eagles – Phantom Other

Department of Eagles – Teenagers

From Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House:

Grizzly Bear – Knife