The grandchild of director Robert Rossen, he was born in Los Angeles on August 5, 1982 and began making music in earnest in 2000, when he became a roommate of Fred Nicolaus at New York University during their freshman year. The duo began writing and recording as Whitey on the Moon UK, ultimately changing their name to Department of Eagles a few years and EPs later. In 2004, Rossen joined Grizzly Bear and appeared on that year's album Horn of Plenty. Meanwhile, in 2005, a collection of Department of Eagles' early works, The Cold Nose, was issued by the U.K. label Melodic (it arrived in the U.S. with bonus tracks two years later). The following year, Grizzly Bear released their breakthrough album, Yellow House, while another Department of Eagles EP, the odds-and-sods collection A Johnny Glaze Christmas: Classical Snatches and Samples a Go-Go, was also 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 the duo 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. In 2009, Grizzly Bear's ambitious third album, Veckatimest, was released, and in 2010, the Department of Eagles collection Archive 2003-2006, which included tracks from their aborted sophomore album and pieces that were later used by Grizzly Bear, arrived. After his touring duties with Grizzly Bear subsided, Rossen began work on a set of songs intended for a new album from that band, but he ended up recording them largely by himself, recruiting horn arrangements from Ian Davis and Kris Nolte, lap steel player Scott Hirsch, and Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick for help on selected tracks. The result was the Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP, which Warp released early in 2012. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi