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FEATHERS

Prog Folk • United States


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Feathers biography
FEATHERS are another in a growing list of new psych-leaning folk bands being spawned on the east coast of the United States the past few years, and although they have connections with neo-freak folk guru Devendra Banhart, this group tends to go its own way and produces music which calls to mind the progressive folk sounds of much earlier acts such as the INCREDIBLE STRING BAND. MOTHS and RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMMUNE. The band has been compared to COMUS and the PENTAGLE as well, but they feature no keyboards and have a sound much closer to soft hippie folk than those acts.

The genesis of the band came when Kurt met Kyle were coworkers at a record store and began to play music together. Vocalist Meara joined after showing up to see the band perform at a local venue, and by the time they released the self-produced EP 'Gnomeozoic Live' the band had grown to eight members. That year also brought new gigs, including one opening for Andy Vetiver in 2004. That show spurred interest byBanhart, and a full-length LP on his Gnomonsong label would follow, as well as an appearance on his 'Cripple Crow' album.

FEATHERS' members prefer to be acknowledged by first-names only (Kyle, Asa, Jordan, Greg, Meara, Ruth, Shana and Ethan), and tend to shun musical labels, including that of being a freak-folk act. Their various EPs were all produced in limited quantities and are a challenge to find, while their latest self-titled release has given them some attention thanks to Banhart's promotion and mentions in the likes of Pitchfork. The band is currently based in Brattleboro, Vermont.

>>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

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FEATHERS discography


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FEATHERS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
Feathers
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Something's wrong with feathers
2006

FEATHERS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Gnomeozoic Live
2004

FEATHERS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FEATHERS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FEATHERS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Tour Paint
2005

FEATHERS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Feathers by FEATHERS album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Feathers
Feathers Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Another of the many and growing acts loosely associated with freak-folk guru Devendra Banhart, Feathers made a bit of a splash with this debut album that (to-date) has turned out to be their only full-length release. The band is/was apparently some sort of neo-hippy collective who holed up in a communal home in upstate Vermont somewhere; perhaps they were lost during the winter, as the last entry on their mySpace blog in February 2007 is a note announcing the cancellation of a scheduled appearance. I haven’t seen or heard much of them since then, and their label’s website entry hasn’t been updated in about as long.

Anyway the music is kind of interesting. It’s pretty much all acoustic, with a wide range of instruments including guitar (actually quite a bit of guitar), harp, sitar and clarinet. There’s some synthesized music as well, but the overall feel and mood is laconic modern hippy folk. The sometimes abstract lyrics and meandering arrangements make for some ear- pleasing moments, particularly the longer tracks like “Ibex Horn” and “Silverleaves in the Air of Starseedlings” which have a decidedly mantra-like mood that recalls some of the early seventies folkies like Nirvana, Trees and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Actually the whole album sounds pretty much like that, which is one of the problems. There isn’t a whole lot of variety here, and although I like the overall mood it does become a bit tedious after a half-hour or so. One can picture all these guys and gals huddled around a campfire out on the back forty of their farm collective, one or two of them ambiently strumming on guitar while the rest huddle in homemade quilts and chant beneath a fading sunlight and sip tepid green tea from hand-thrown pottery mugs. Its an idyllic picture, but one that would have been far more engaging with a little bit of variety thrown in – maybe a free-form jazz jam or a jig, something.

This is a decent album, but not great. Almost very good I would say. If I were swaddled in wool blankets out in the forest somewhere right now I might get into their mood and be inclined to give this three stars. But I’m not, so I won’t. Two stars, recommended for your next Greenpeace tree-hugging date; otherwise, mostly for collectors.

peace

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 Feathers by FEATHERS album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Feathers
Feathers Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Sole album (so far) from a neo-hippy commune living in the woods of New England, Feathers' musical realms can be closely link with nu:neo-folk or Wyrd folk. Whether is needed an inclusion on PA is a bit more debatable, for most of the curiosity of their music relies on their weirdness, their fragility or quaintness, rather than their complexity or adventurous meanderings. This octet (half male, half-female) are more intent on giving an intimate acoustic atmosphere with tons of dumb and tiresome fake birds songs and other "forest noises", without much humour (like a grizzly's fart, for example), which is too bad; because it is in their more instrumented music that they are most interesting.

Indeed, the opening Old Black hat is probably the album's most exciting track (with maybe two more), because the group appears complete with everyone contributing and full sound. The same can be said of the following To Each His Own, somewhere stuck between Long Live Death and Faun Fables. But most of the tracks have an acid-folk feel ala Incredible String Band, but lacking its bitesome edge, often with these tire and irksome bird calls. Silverleaves does have its own charms in these calmer songs, though. But it's clearly with busier tracks like Ibex Horn the Feathers does its job best throughout the almost 8 minutes of this track in which the group keeps changing the musical climates from PG Six, to Tunng to Espers reminiscences/influences and there is a pagan mood brooding from some of the drones out.

With only three songs that stand out from a relatively boring (IMHO) album, Feathers is indeed sometimes proggy enough to interest some of the Wyrder progheads, but I doubt this will please the majority of this site's users. Being nice to it, I'm roundi,ng it up to the upper star, but be warned!

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