Thursday, March 02, 2006

birds of a feather

Been sitting on the Feathers s/t LP for quite some time. Was a little hesitant at first but within a few dozen rotations, all was right. You can't go wrong with the Vermont tree folk. While not as out as MV or the Foole, Feathers craft a sound I plan to keep following. Here is a chunk of a review I wrote for this week's Dusted:

While the English folk tradition is surely at the root of Feathers they’ve only directly nurtured their fascination in the poetics, like the opener “Old Black Hat With A Dandelion Flower,” which begins ”Old black hat with a dandelion flower / White old rat raling seeds in my garden / Skin soaked in diamonds, necklaces of lemon,” sounding much like the String Band’s Robin Williamson. Onward from there, the group creates a lofting, camp-fire jamboree far from the castle gates of mere homage. There is no reedy, Shirley Collins vocal hanging atop or ringing steel of a Davy Graham guitar. Instead, they gently deliver a complex, almost robust, interplay of harpsichord, dulcimer, violin, acoustic guitars, bird calls and ascending mountain choirs. With such a laundry list of instruments, the risk of saturation is high, but each songwriter (all members compose) precisely places the instruments in its own role, whether lead or background accent, never clouding another yet seeming like a continuous, effortless flow.

Feathers - To Earth His Own


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