Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Wild Feathers Lift With The Ceiling

The Wild Feathers by Myriam Santos
Four of the members who make up the Wild Feathers had made small marks in music as lead singers, songwriters, and frontmen for years. Each of them had their own local bands, booked solo gigs, and worked for various venues. All of them still do, of course, with the exception of doing it together.

It's a great that they did. Their five-piece band, the Wild Feathers, has a promising start with their signature blend of Southern rock and Americana that they prefer to call rock and roll. And maybe they are right to do it. Rock music used to be diverse before it was broken up into sub-genres.

The Wild Feathers lift off with The Ceiling. 

While the band already has a solid start, their release of The Ceiling on YouTube caught more attention than any other video produced by the band. There's a reason it stands out. The single immediately stood out from the other clips and vids as the band finally found a deeper passion.

Lyrically, the song has plenty going for it. With songwriters willing to share material and shape ideas into something better, many songs by the Wild Feathers create vivid landscapes where varied experiences, sometimes painful, play out against soaring instrumentals and vocals.

The majority of the song is driven by its lamenting and urgent lyrics. Here's a sampling of it.

"Well I did what I did and I didn't mean anything. The sunrise, the drive, the morning. The smoke stacks, the bold hats, still learning. And I don't know how I got this far down with the ceiling."

But what makes the song even more memorable is that after it explodes at the midpoint and then falls silent, the band slowly brings up a stirring melody of hope, creating the illusion that this really is two songs in one. It's brilliant in that it shows two sides of circumstances. It's the ease of being together that matters.

The video was released while the band was on a six-week tour, picking up short-run residencies at various Southern clubs and expanding their circle out from Nashville. It's accompanied by a B-side, Backwoods Company, which was released through an exclusive channel a month before The Ceiling.

The backstory, B-side and upcoming self-titled album.

Backwoods Company is a big and blaring romp focused on a dangerous liaison. If some of it sounds immediately familiar, it's because a tiny slice of it comes from a timeless lullaby. It's from that slice they build layer after layer, transforming it into a rocker.

The Wild Feathers
The track will also open the upcoming self-titled album (August 2013). Like the rest of the album, it was produced the multi-talented Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, The Wallflowers), who seems to have helped the band not only find its passion, but also somehow corral it into a warmer, more cosmic place.

This is a signifiant transformation, one that was as important for the band as when Ricky Young and Joel King first came together in 2010. With Young from Texas and King from Oklahoma, it really was their collaboration that sparked the second part of their journey, picking up a drummer .

"We always wanted to do something with a bunch of singers, not just one lead," King said of their early collaborations. They finally had their chance as growly Taylor Burns and brightly appointed Preston Wimberly signed on as equal complements. The first time they played together was in Austin.

“We make songs that I could never write on my own, even if I worked from now until I die,” says Young. “But with these guys and what they bring, it’s easy.”

The Ceiling By The Wild Feathers Knocks 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

When some reviewers note the instruments (including a mandolin), there is an immediate assumption that the band is mostly into folk rock. It's a bit different in that their first love is clearly rock. On one occasion, they even asked to be defined as American rock, not Americana. Fair enough.

With the exception of sometimes feeling overly polished, the Wild Feathers clearly have something happening with 14 tracks (two are bonus tracks) listed on the upcoming deluxe edition. You can find the single The Ceiling by the Wild Feathers on iTunes or the self-titled album due out in August. The Ceiling/Backwoods Company is also on Amazon. For upcoming tour information, you can find the band on Facebook. The band will be joining Willie Nelson in August and ZZ Ward in September.
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