Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Random Review #92 Horse Feathers - House With No Name

C11S6CD3 I confess now I know nothing about this band. This album was bought on the back of a review in Mojo Magazine and although I love this album I haven’t delved into the history of the band until tonight. The basics are that they are based in Portland and this is the 2nd of 3 albums they have released.

Although labelled as Americana, and I can’t argue with that, the interesting thing about Horse Feathers is that they are actually a chamber orchestra playing Americana, and although some of the instruments played on the album wouldn’t be directly aligned with a true chamber orchestra (banjo, tambourine) there is no bass or drums on this album and that’s the thing that draws you in.

It feels like everything was recorded in a wood cabin all at once, in a land which looks something like the front cover of this album, where the band could see their breath and they only stopped to brew fresh coffee and warm their hands on the stove! I know that sounds ridiculous but that’s the vision I get when I listen to this album.

It starts with the wonderful Curs In The Weeds, hushed vocals and violin based this was a revelation to me when I first heard it and it still draws me in every time I listen to it now. There is nothing to dance to this album, but there is a lot to love on this album. If quiet was the new loud then this album is very loud, or very quiet if you know what I mean. Hushed beautifully arranged songs flow one after the other until the track Father closes the album. Weighting in at 36 minutes there isn’t a duff track on this album, just the way I like them.

This band sit somewhere between Bon Iver and Dakota Suite for me and if you like either of these bands or if you just fancy something a little bit different then it’s worth taking a chance on Horse Feathers,

Mark 8/10

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