In December, Department of Eagles began work on its second album, In Ear Park. Chris Taylor acted as producer/engineer and also played electric bass and horns. Chris Bear, Grizzly Bear’s drummer, also contributed heavily to the album. The idea was to take the songwriting dynamic developed between Daniel and Fred and meld it with the band dynamic that Daniel and the two Chris’ had honed on the road. Nat Baldwin drove down from Maine to play double bass. 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.
In Ear Park is a colorful and expansive album, an intimate and personal collection of songs; much of the material that Daniel brought to In Ear Park draws on memories from his childhood, especially those relating to his father, who passed away in 2007 and to whom the album is dedicated (the title track is a nickname for a park in Los Angeles that the two used to visit). Many of Fred’s contributions relate to similar themes of nostalgia and mortality, giving the album at times an elegiac feel. In Ear Park is also full of joyful moments, lush production and concise songwriting.
From the early demos to the final mix, it took roughly four years for the group to complete this collection of eleven songs. It was released October 7th, 2008 on 4AD. It’s called In Ear Park.