No One Does It Like You Do/Too Little Too Late by Department of Eagles

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A band you most likely haven’t heard of but have most likely heard from. The New York University Alumni-based group formed in the early 2000’s as Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear fame) became dormmates. Somewhat stumbling into the arms of California-based Isota Records, DoA recorded a few more tracks with Hot Fuss producer Jeff Saltzman.

After the release of The Cold Nose, Rossen went off to work with the band Grizzly Bear in late 2004 and began writing, singing, and touring with them. Nicolaus had bigger fish to fry, such as opening a savings account. The two finally came back together to put together their final album, In Ear Park, in 2006. Not exactly getting anywhere, the band tried again the next year with some members of Grizzly Bear.

The recordings from the first session were later released on Archive 2003-2006 which came out in 2010. The dynamic of production surrounding the record is best told by the Department of Eagles website bio, “Fred frequently told his job he was working from home in order to lay down vocal takes.

Daniel, who lived across the street from the recording space, would often drop by in the middle of the night to fiddle with levels. Finally in May 2008, tracking and mixing was completed. This second album would be called In Ears Park and would be released October of 2008 with the track “No One Does It Like You Do.”

Released as the Album’s lead single, No One Does It Like you Do was released only on 7” in 2008 along with the LP itself. The B side has a song by Pop artist Jojo that was covered by the band. Disputedly, the cover was meant as a gift for Grizzly Bear frontman Edward Droste. With a sound the band compared to Paul McCartney and Randy Newman, the songs are mystical and uplifting, similar to a lullaby or a chant sung by one.

The rhythm is smooth, and the lyrics are sung with the chords like the Lumineers and Phoenix (at times). The sound, if you’re familiar, is a lot like Andrew Bird. It may sound dreary and mournful, but, no yeah that’s exactly what it is: however, it doesn’t leave you feeling sad. It sounds like a memory, faded and rose-colored. Somehow the feeling of belonging and togetherness is in there, somewhere.

The 7” itself is pressed at 45rpm (ass all should be) but is missing the larger hole in the center. I came about this record through a local new and used record shop, which accounts for the missing inner sleeve. The rest of the art is beautiful and doesn’t follow the style set by The Cold Nose, and that’s alright. In a way, this single marked change to come to the group. The final change being very final.

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