Horse Feathers: House With No Home

By: Dennis Cook

The insistent itch of strings rising and falling, voices struggling to get all the feeling inside out into the light and a pastoral lilt full of wood smoke and twilight pondering. Such is the broad sweep of Horse Feathers's House With No Home (released September 9 on Kill Rock Stars). At times coming off like John Denver doing chamber music, this is intimate and intricate. Both direct and consciously fuzzy, there's no doubting they know what they're doing, giving wings to the oddest couplets, making sad ideas do a jig. A line like "We are young and we are weak/ just as blank as we are bleak" shouldn't be fun to sing-along to but it is. Horse Feathers skirt expectation, turning one's notions about acoustic indie rock on their ear, but doing so with such a gentle hand that it never feels like a forced experiment. So smoothly does every element join hands that one is never pulled from the overall spell despite the great variety here, which seamlessly blends Bach with bluegrass, folk with pure sonic impressionism. One leaves House With No Home feeling cleansed, purified in ice cold creek water, damp and ready for what's next. Lovely.

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