VINYL OF THE MONTH: Horse Feathers

Horse Feathers
Drain You b/w Bonnet of Briars
Portland, OR

“One baby says we’re lucky to have met them…”

Portland’s Horse Feathers take a pretty big risk by covering the Pacific Northwest’s biggest rock icon on the A-side of their latest 7-inch single. Thankfully, though, the risk pays huge dividends. Hailing from the same region as one Kurt Cobain, most bands in their shoes would do almost everything in their power to avoid comparison. And even though “Drain You” leads off the record, there’s really no comparison.

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Forgoing the bombastic grunge assault of Nevermind in favor of a string-laden acoustic arrangement, Horse Feathers do the unthinkable. They take one of the most recognizable songs of the 20th Century and breathe fresh life into it, making it – dare we say – better than the original in almost every respect. There’s a certain haunting beauty in this arrangement, yet it retains the pop sensibility that Nirvana (sometimes begrudgingly) excelled at. Plus, with a vocal delivery more akin to Iron and Wine than a mouth full of marbles, you can actually make out the brilliant lyrics that are obscured in the original version. The frenzied string crescendo ends the track on a perfect, manic note.

The B-side, Bonnet of Briars, is striking as well, making this a no-brainer pick up at your local record store. (Kill Rock Stars)

Recorded by Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios

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