Sleepover Show #34: Horse Feathers

We cannot express how much we were looking forward to our time with Horse Feathers.  We’ve admired Justin Ringle’s lyrics since their debut, Words are Dead.  If you have had the opportunity to see the band live, however, you know that his words and the music by Nathan Crockett, Catherine Odell and Sam Cooper take on a life of their own.  We caught them a few years ago over at Berklee’s Red Room when we were just getting started ourselves, and only hoped to get our chance to record a set with them as they made their way back to Boston.  We could not believe our good fortune when they agreed to play us some tunes when they were in town last time, touring on their newest album, Thistled Spring.

How did we reward the band?  By cramming them into an ugly lime-green staircase, of course.  We did not realize it then, but this is actually fitting, as it nearly matches the green on the walls in the official video for Belly of June.  But, with a boiler room haunting us instead of two stop motion bees, it turned out a little different.  Watching them work through their sound check, we were excited to capture our own live versions of the songs.  And then we got our chance.

The Portland-based band was patient as we figured out a place to shoot the set, finally realizing that the only place to do so was the back stairwell at the Middle East.  We are glad that the music transcended the space.  We’ve done our fair share of placing bands in near-awkward spaces before, and although this certainly was not the image we  had conjured in our heads when prepping for the show, Justin, Catherine, Nathan and Sam rose to the occasion.  Sam even grabbed a discarded old sign during the performance to play against the cement stairs.

Thistled Spring cannot help but feel like a revelation of pain through the hope of the new season.  Singing of old lovers, lost lovers, and transforming Kurt Cobain’s Drain You–itself a song that makes desire palpable, even as it verges on the obsessive: I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me, Horse Feathers helped remove us from that neon-painted stairwell for a brief time, and we hope you enjoy the results.  The band is off to Europe for now, but here’s hoping they return soon.

Belly of June

Thistled Spring

Drain You

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