Oct 22, 2008

House With No Home-Horse Feathers

Horse Feathers are quietly great. Hushed beauty and exquisite tones are their gifts. Gifts that do not shout, but rather humbly and silently present themselves to you, expressing beauty and emotion in peaceful, muffled yet significant ways. "House With No Home" is this Portland, Oregon duo's second album, following their superb 2006 debut "Words Are Dead". That album was a hidden gem of two years ago and this album is a superb follow up, an album of spare emotional power and intense feelings. A great example in the tradition of American Folk/Acoustic music. Wrinkled voices and burnt strings make a great combination.

Horse Feathers are singer and guitarist Justin Ringle and talented instrumentalist Peter Broderick. Ringle has a crumpled, wrinkled voice, one that feels tattered and torn. It is surely a beautiful instrument, evoking barns and wooden floors. Dusty roads and unraked fields. His voice is backed up by gently plucked guitar and expertly plied violin. The combined sound is delicate and delectable. The opening two tracks set the scene perfectly. "Curs In The Weeds" and "Rude to Rile" are simply dazzling tracts of authentic music. Driven by a quiet intensity, they both exist to suck the marrow from life. Voices soar and violins weep in perfect synchronicity. The album flows beautifully after this start. Whilst the sound does not vary greatly in tone, each song is presented with admirable attention and care. "Albina" burns brightly, whilst "Helen" soars with great effect. Other highlights are the whisper quiet "Different Gray", which features subtle piano, and the stunning closer "Father", a great way to end an album of intense and remarkable grandeur. If in 2006 you slept on Horse Feathers, please don't make the same mistake twice.

MP3: Curs in the Weeds-Horse Feathers

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