12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than four years in the making (The Cold Nose was originally released in 2003), In Ear Park is the sophomore record by what is essentially a collaboration between Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear), joined here by that band’s Chris Taylor and Chris Bear, and by bassist Nat Baldwin. Lonely-sounding pianos, whispering guitars, rattling percussion and songs that shimmer and haunt are the order of the day. Dedicated to Rossen’s recently deceased father, the songs on In Ear Park feel intimate and personal, and Rossen’s voice — a husky, warm warble — lends a very distinct touch, especially to the mournful “Phantom Other,” the twinkling “Around the Bay,” and the wistful title track. The grand piano intro and otherworldly slide guitar on “Teenagers” waltzes along with near glee, and The Beach Boys-like backup chorus and walls of reverb surrounding “No One Does It Like You” imparts a luxuriant feel without burying the song in layers.  “Waves of Rye” and “Therapy Car Noise” sound like they were pulled out of a dusty old magician’s trunk, full of atmospherics and ambient noise, while a rippling banjo carries “Balmy Night.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than four years in the making (The Cold Nose was originally released in 2003), In Ear Park is the sophomore record by what is essentially a collaboration between Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear), joined here by that band’s Chris Taylor and Chris Bear, and by bassist Nat Baldwin. Lonely-sounding pianos, whispering guitars, rattling percussion and songs that shimmer and haunt are the order of the day. Dedicated to Rossen’s recently deceased father, the songs on In Ear Park feel intimate and personal, and Rossen’s voice — a husky, warm warble — lends a very distinct touch, especially to the mournful “Phantom Other,” the twinkling “Around the Bay,” and the wistful title track. The grand piano intro and otherworldly slide guitar on “Teenagers” waltzes along with near glee, and The Beach Boys-like backup chorus and walls of reverb surrounding “No One Does It Like You” imparts a luxuriant feel without burying the song in layers.  “Waves of Rye” and “Therapy Car Noise” sound like they were pulled out of a dusty old magician’s trunk, full of atmospherics and ambient noise, while a rippling banjo carries “Balmy Night.”

TITLE TIME
4:04
3:58
4:42
3:08
5:08
3:20
2:51
4:25
1:52
6:08
2:56
2:21

About Department of Eagles

Originally known as the Whitey on the Moon UK, Department of Eagles blossomed from the recording project of two college roommates into purveyors of ambitious yet intimate music inspired by Van Dyke Parks and Paul McCartney. Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen met in 2000, when they were assigned as each other's roommates during their freshman year at New York University. During their spring semester, they began experimenting with samples, recording software, and guitars, making music with the atmospheric sweep of symphonic and electronic pop and the intimacy of folk. Initially, Rossen and Nicolaus intended their music to be heard just by their friends, but California indie label Isota Records released the duo's debut EP, Mo' Tussin, in 2002 and The Noam Chomsky Spring Break EP the following year. Those EPs, plus some extra studio recordings, were compiled to make The Whitey on the Moon UK LP, which Isota also issued in 2003. However, upon discovering a San Francisco band with the name the Whitey on the Moon, Rossen and Nicolaus changed their project's moniker to Department of Eagles, and the album's name was changed to The Cold Nose and issued in the U.K. by Melodic in 2005 and reissued in the U.S. with four bonus tracks by American Dust in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2004, Rossen joined Grizzly Bear in time to contribute tracks to their breakthrough album, 2006's Yellow House; that year, Department of Eagles' odds-and-ends EP A Johnny Glaze Christmas: Classical Snatches and Samples a Go-Go was released. During that time, Rossen and Nicolaus continued to work on tracks, gathering enough material for an album by late 2007. Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear, as well as bassist Nat Baldwin, joined Rossen and Nicolaus for the sessions, which were completed in spring 2008; the resulting album, In Ear Park, was inspired by Rossen's late father and released by 4AD that fall. The odds-and-ends collection Archive 2003-2006, which included tracks from their aborted sophomore album and pieces that were later used by Grizzly Bear, arrived in 2010. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • FORMED
    2001

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