So, The Black Feathers, they tread the path of music in a manner as old as time itself, tried and true. Two voices entwined like lovers’ fingers, delicate guitars weaving their own story – it’s an approach that’s been etched in the fabric of music since the very invention of the guitar itself. Now, don’t mistake my words for criticism, no sir. I mention this to underline a simple truth: not everything in music, nor in the vast canvas of art, requires fixing.
We don’t need forced, clunky fusions akin to Frankenstein’s ill-fitting monsters emerging from midnight music labs. We don’t need revolutions, they never really achieve much anyway, at least nothing that lasts, and this ever-increasing reliance on technology seems only to deliver ever-diminishing returns in quality. Sometimes, all you need to do is to take an existing sound and style and just do it better than it’s ever been done before. And that’s precisely what The Black Feathers do, and they do it brilliantly.
Now, of course, the term “better” is a slippery, subjective slope. But in this case, it is taken to mean songwriting that ascends to deft and delicate heights, that the spaciousness within their music is more entrancing than most, the lyrics poetic, the music poised and the way Ray and Sian’s voices entwine, compliment, and gently caress each other is nothing short of sublime. As I mentioned earlier, you might have heard something like this before, but never has it been wrought with such skill, composed with such expertise, executed with such eloquence and delivered with such brilliance.
Even within their signature style, one steeped in understatement and restraint, you’ll find a tapestry of variance. At one end of the spectrum, there are songs like “Dreams With You,” a tune perpetually on the verge of becoming a capella reverie, beautiful, fragile, and delicately rendered. On the flip side, “Another Day” surges with unexpected energy, courtesy of intricate, finger-picked guitars, the swell of emotive organs and the burble of chiming and, frankly, charming keyboards.
As anticipated, it’s a breathtaking collection of songs, a reminder that sometimes, less is indeed more. And if that holds true, as it does, then it follows that so much less, when in the right hands, can be, oh, so much more. And the proof, if you are not prepared to take my word for such things, is found here, in this album and with this fantastic duo.