Horse Feathers: The Darker Side Of Rebirth

Horse Feathers; credit: Tarina Westlund i i

The most agreeably pretty song to float along in ages, Horse Feathers' "Thistled Spring" still finds a way to chill the blood. Tarina Westlund hide caption

itoggle caption Tarina Westlund
Horse Feathers; credit: Tarina Westlund

The most agreeably pretty song to float along in ages, Horse Feathers' "Thistled Spring" still finds a way to chill the blood.

Tarina Westlund

Tuesday's Pick

  • Artist: Horse Feathers
  • Song: "Thistled Spring"
  • CD: Thistled Spring
  • Genre: Folk-Pop

Horse Feathers singer-guitarist Justin Ringle knows that nothing goes with musical comfort food quite like scenes of maximum discomfort: battered souls, broken homes, lives wrecked by dashed expectations and secrets too dark to recount. So how does Ringle's music manage to wash down like a maximum-strength headache remedy chased with sweet tea?

There's a clear and present disconnect between the soothingly majestic beauty of Horse Feathers' music — take the glorious "Thistled Spring," with its washes of violin and cello, backed by a solemn piano — and Ringle's words of "a blossom that's bloomed / a house that's a tomb." But Horse Feathers' members understand with clarity how much richer "Thistled Spring" is for its darker shading; how even a season of renewal has its thorny and disagreeable side. Let Ringle's softly weary voice drift by without latching on, and this is the most agreeably pretty song to float along in ages. Let his words sink in, and it's enough to chill the blood and warm the heart at the exact same time.

This story originally ran on April 13, 2010.

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Thistled Spring

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Album
Thistled Spring
Artist
Horse Feathers
Label
Kill Rock Stars
Released
2010

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