Preview: Horse Feathers

The last time contemporary folk group Horse Feathers were in Iowa City, it happened to be a certain Tuesday night when Barack Obama was elected President. There was an amount of jubilation in the air that won’t be possible to match on Wednesday when they return with their new album, Thistled Spring. Regardless of the lack of political implications, they’re still very much worthy of your time and money, as Thistled Spring represents a continuation of Horse Feathers’ excellent form. If anything, the new album is more driven, and a bigger sounding record than their Kill Rock Stars debut, House with No Home. Songwriter Justin Ringle has one of those voices that could propel him into stardom on its own - not unlike another indie musician named Justin, also known as that dude in Bon Iver. Now a quartet, Horse Feathers’ songs swirl with diverse American instrumentation: piano, violin, cello, banjo, acoustic guitars. It is a modern take on a traditional American music. But rather than inject Americana with a dose of rock ‘n’ roll, as so many bands today tend to try, Ringle’s songs sound modern while sounding old. As far as indie folk goes, it’s got about as much in common with Appalachia as it does with Iron & Wine. And it’s beautiful. Highly recommended. Iowa City’s trio of female vocalists, the Vagabonds, open the show. This show begins late (following the biweekly Burlington Street Bluegrass Band), with doors at 10pm and a cover of $8.

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Download: Horse Feathers - Belly of June

Who: Horse Feathers with the Vagabonds
Where: The Mill
When: Wednesday, May 12, 10pm
How Much: $8

About the Author

Todd is a transplant from the East Coast who came to Iowa City to live life, love music, and enjoy cheap beer. In addition to working on Mission Freak and Mission Creek Festival, he writes semi-regularly for Tiny Mix Tapes and Daytrotter and books music and other events at local non-profit venue Public Space ONE.