Female four-piece Feathers (unintentional alliteration!) hail from my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. Having essentially had three incarnations over their half-decade existence, it has been interesting to witness their evolution. First starting out as a trio, then losing a drummer, picking up a new drummer and a bass-player, the progression of the band is inevitable. Yet as they release new album Hunter’s Moon through ace local label Bon Voyage, Feathers are intent to showcase how far they have come – and as a time capsule highlighting the genesis of the band up to today, the album succeeds admirably.
Feathers hinges on songwriting duo Michelle Brown and Helena Papapagiou, with Innez Tulloch’s self-assured and dextrous bass and Susan Milanovic’s initially competent, eventually eloquent drumming providing the robust backbone. The growth of the band starts with the opening trio of tracks. “Darklands” is as languid a surf pop tune as you can get, a Vivian Girls outtake at quarter pace. “Cruel For Love” brightens up in both speed in temperament, whilst “Cat Burglar” combines a more rustic garage charm to a stoner anthem. These songs are good, yet the onus is on that surf vibe, so the connotations associated with other bands of that ilk hang heavily in the air. It certainly didn’t hurt their cause, as they found support slots for the likes of the aforementioned Vivian Girls and Best Coast come their way. Yet they also gravitate to a darker realm, and the wily promoter who saw fit to put them in front of Dead Meadow saw where these girls were really heading.
The first indications come on “Early Morning” which ambles on with such a slacker malaise that you can’t help but feel stoned just listening to it. “Heartbreakers” swirls around ominously, with Milanovic’s drumming really coming into its own, whilst Phantoms is insidious in its insistence of getting under the skin. Yet it’s the closer “Wild Horse Mountain” that rightfully leaves the lasting impression, its dark gothic amble into colonial terrain heightened by a dampened motorik stumble that proves to be a delicious kick.
Having witnessed their album launch set, the second half of which was top-heavy with those darker, heavier tinged style sonics, Hunter’s Moon serves Feathers well as both a time capsule of where they have come and an exciting harbinger of what’s in store. Grab Hunter’s Moon here.
Early Morning –
Wild Horse Mountain –
Written By: Brendan T (Sonic Masala)
My Rating: 7.5/10
Genre/ Tags: Indie Rock, Alternative, Psychedelic, Garage Rock
Hunter’s Moon: Tracklist:
2.) Cruel For Love
3.) Cat Burglar
4.) Early Morning
8.) Play With Fire
9.) Wild Horse Mountain