“Boys” has a twangy melody with tip-tap drumming and throaty male vocals backed up by delicate female whispers. Portland, Oregon’s bed. is the musical outlet for the founders of Breakup Records, Alex Haager and Sierra Frost. Download the track here, and look for their release show on May 18th if you’re in their neck of the woods.
On the final track of Horse Feathers’s third LP, Justin Ringle croons, “by winter’s end you may come back to life.” With the devastating warmth found on Thistled Spring, it’d be impossible to not.
The piano and strings on the opening, self-titled track are so beautiful you just sink into yourself, relaxed and happy despite the underlying sense of melancholy. Banjo, guitar, and cavernous drums complete the sound on the album, creating songs that are as welcome in the cab of an old Ford pickup on a deserted road as they are in a cowboy movie (“Vernonia Blues”). Hovering under the instrumentation is Ringle’s wounded tenor, spouting, pleading, asking such things as “stay awhile with me…hold a hand with no ring” so convincingly saying no is a near impossibility, even with the cold grip of death on your arm (“The Widower”).
Essentially, Thistled Spring makes me nostalgic for a life I never had – part Little House on the Prairie, part Carnivale – and a great love I have yet to lose. I realize that may make the album sound dated, unaccessible, and depressing, but it’s none of those things. Thistled Spring calls to mind the honesty of a first kiss, the spark that comes with the moment you realize it’s love, and the bite of realizing possibly forever has become the definite past. With no song falling solely in any of these particular stages, Horse Feathers gives us an album that floats somewhere in the space only found in those sun-drenched moments between wakefulness and sleep.
Thistled Spring drops 04.20.10.
Tour dates and more here.
Sub Pop (Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins, Iron & Wine, Nirvana, and more) is giving away free money and they want you to have it. If you are living in Washington or Oregon and are a graduating high school senior, read on:
The Sub Pop Scholarship
Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $13,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $6,000 and two for $3,500 each. To apply for these scholarships you must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for an applicant who is involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way.
To apply for these scholarships we would like you to submit an essay, no longer than one page, letting us know about some of the following topics:
What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
How and/or why did you become interested in artistic outlets?
Why do you need this scholarship money?
What are your influences and/or who inspires you?
Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?
Applicants are encouraged to send digital links and provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay. However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline for applications is May 1st, please get in touch before then if you are interested.