New Horse Feathers: “Belly of June” (mp3)
Horse Feathers, the Justin Ringle solo project-turned-duo-turned-trio-turned-quartet will release their third LP, Thistled Spring, on Kill Rock Stars April 20. Until then, you can download “Belly of June,” the first we’ve heard from the Oregon folks since 2008’s spectacular House With No Home.
The track has all the same elements that made the last album unforgettable: the whispered vocals, the scenic instrumentation, and Ringle’s profound song craftsmanship. But what has set this band so far apart from the hundreds of other bearded folk bandwagon jumpers is the string arrangements; the violin and cello players are full-time members of the band, so the string arrangement is treated as a core element to the song rather than just an afterthought by a third-party composer.
“Belly of June” is no exception. The strings float spirals around Ringle’s lightly exhaled words and ascend to prominence when he stops singing. At other times, they freckle the verses with plucked strings as the banjo and softly strummed guitar serve as the foundation. Whatever is going on, the song is just as relaxing and authentic as House With No Home, and the solidification of an official four-piece lineup makes the arrangement and structure even more interesting and advanced. If “Belly of June” is any indication, expect good things out of Thistled Spring.
Download: Horse Feathers – “Belly of June”