Thursday, June 08, 2006

Feathers - Old Black Hat With a Dandelion Flower

If you think Feathers' album cover looks oddly reminiscent of Devendra Banhart's recent Cripple Crow, there's a reason behind that. Feathers not only played on part of Cripple Crow but also are the first release on Banhart's Gnomonsong record label, which is unfortunate since being on such a small label has rendered this album almost invisible. I had been searching for it for quite a while until I was finally able to pick it up in Toronto a little while ago. Comparing it to Banhart would be the most obvious comparison, but I think that Feathers are working on a much saner, simplistic songwriting style than Banhart, perhaps more akin to the softer work of Sufjan Stevens. For a band comprised of eight members, the album is oddly quiet and elegiac. After giving it a fair amount of listens, I'm still amazed by their inhuman ability to create layer after layer of vocal harmony, with the vocal harmonies commonly becoming more prominent than the music. Consider it summer music for those sleeping in the woods, eating berries from the bushes.

Bonus Track - Van Rat
Bonus Track - Past the Moon

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