Horse Feathers

Story by


Words by Kari Hendrick

Three years ago I sent an album to a friend. Not just any friend. This was a potential friend. What I knew of him was little – but I DID know that he was a music God. Purposefully selective, but a ward of singer/songwriters. I sent him this album, with fingers crossed, that maybe someday we could hang out and listen to music together.

And listen we did. Together, we fell in love with Horse Feathers and so I hold this Portland based band a bit responsible for our friendship. Its nostalgic, distant tone carried us through a world of loneliness but still, hope. The somewhat religious undertones in “Curse in the Weeds” were inspiring and real. Lyricist Justin Ringle depicts the battle between finding faith, purpose, direction in life, and turning your back and running away. Growing up, losing your inner child. Finding the deepest, darkest corners of your own heart and the desire to dig even deeper. Horse Feathers allows your soul to journey – lost or found – or float, more so, with the sounds of the strings. The deep, harmonious cry of the cello, the whine of the violin and eerie howl of the saw. Their post folk style depicts a conflicting world of the grey landscape of the Northwest and the bright, rising sun of California, and bridged the gap of our two separate worlds.

Horse Feathers inspired us. It punished us. It threatened to break our hearts and fall back in love with us. Horse Feathers is intimate, and at any moment, they know exactly what to say. Truth be told – to what we needed to hear at the time. Last night I heard Horse Feathers live, again, after about a year. I felt inspired to write this, to reach out to my friend and share my experience. So I guess it’s fair to say we’re still friends. Embraced by the banjo and revisiting our relationship again through Horse Feathers, their new album Cynic’s New Year will only make it stronger.

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