Horse Feathers, “So It Is with Us”
So It Is with Us
KILL ROCK STARS
Portland, Oregon’s Horse Feathers has been quietly breaking hearts for a decade now. This fifth full-length is no different, with frontman and songwriter Justin Ringle leading the five-piece through ten tracks of sad majesty. There’s a sweet yet gloomy grace to the lilt of “Thousand” and the country-tinged slow waltz of “Why Do I Try”—strings and banjos helping to increase the melancholy that already flows through Ringle’s vocals. There’s a distinctly refined polish to these tracks; just listen to the smooth Iron & Wine–isms of “Small Melody” or the airy breeze of closer “What We Become.” At times, that refinement does seem to dull the ache of these songs somewhat, but elsewhere, as on the gloomy plod of “The Knee,” the precision ably accentuates it. Either way, So It Is with Us remains a collection of earnest songs devoted to, and inspired by, love and loss and is yet another welcome addition to the band’s discography.