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Thistled Spring

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Album Review

Never judge an album by its cover art, unless that album was recorded by Horse Feathers. On 2008’s House with No Home, the band sketched a portrait of winter mornings and lonely northwestern nights using string arrangements and acoustic guitars in lieu of paint brushes. A literal portrait graced the cover, depicting the very same scene (snow-capped barn in a wooded clearing, mountain towering in the background, everything captured in hazy focus) that the album spent its time evoking. Thistled Spring follows a similar pattern, its artwork featuring a tangle of tree branches in early bloom. There’s a cautious energy to these ten tracks, a sense that the frozen soundscapes of House with No Home have started to thaw. Songs like “Belly of June” and “Vernonia Blues” hint at a promising season of barn dances and full harvests, and while Justin Ringle still sounds restrained — he sings earnestly but quietly, as if he’s aware of someone sleeping in the next room — his band keeps things moving along at an earthy, casual pace. This time out, the band includes violinist Nathan Crockett, cellist Catherine Odell, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper, all of whom do an adequate job updating the indie folk orchestrations that former bandmate Peter Broderick brought to the group. Broderick was once as integral to Horse Feathers’ sound as Ringle himself, but Thistled Spring doesn’t stumble in his absence, and the retooled lineup pairs well with Ringle’s warming disposition.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful

I brought this album over 12 months ago, and I still can't stop listening to it. It was the best thing I brought that year. And am only just posting a review about it now, because am still listening to it...The lyrics are as much beautiful as they are haunting dealing with with a sense of hope and loss. This is the same for the music as takes you through well composed melodies that are enough to warm you and give the lift of the spring. Yet a potent note/s combined with lyrics give a sudden sadness drawing you back 'As a Ghost'. 'Starving Robins', 'Belly of June', 'This Bed' are all favourites. Why aren't more people listening to this...You wont waste you more nor time on supporting this band.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An indie folk band from Portland, Oregon, Horse Feathers consists of singer/songwriter Justin Ringle (acoustic guitar, vocals, percussion) and a rotating cast of supporting musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick and several string players. Ringle grew up in Idaho and performed in several short-lived indie rock bands before moving to Portland, where he began playing shows under the name Horse Feathers. It was in Portland that he met Broderick, a member of the established local...
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Thistled Spring, Horse Feathers
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