“Cardinal Feather” is the type of lead-off single from a debut album that will ensure that listeners take notice. Spanning nearly five minutes, Julie Odell’s colorful guitar odyssey demonstrates the New Orleans–based songwriter’s talents both on the instrument and for singing, creating a recording that sounds like Neko Case by way of Veckatimest. With those touchstones, it feels appropriate that the album Odell’s prog-country single belongs to, Autumn Eve, will arrive via Frenchkiss Records—an indie stalwart responsible for much of the canonical blog-era rock “Cardinal Feather” takes cues from.
“‘Cardinal Feather’ was born out of a panic attack,” Odell explains of the ironically composed tune. “It’s about finding support in the dark times and finding the strength within to be gentle with yourself. It’s about accepting help when you need it and not being ashamed for needing it. It can be hard to feel seen when you can’t fully recognize yourself in moments of extreme anxiety and confusion. I’m thankful for the people who have stuck around after all the moments like this that I’ve had, along with so many others.”
The single arrives with a vibrantly colored visual that sees Odell jamming the song in various outdoorsy settings. “Part of the video was shot in swampy Lake Martin near Lafayette, Louisiana, where we started the day with the sunrise and got eaten alive by swarms of thousands of mosquitoes,” she recalls. “Wolf spiders the size of your fist all around, alligators swimming nearby, hundreds of primrose and Black-eyed Susans blooming. So much sweat and a little blood. Other parts were shot in Grand Chenier right on the southernmost border of Louisiana on the Gulf Coast.
“We also got eaten alive in this location,” she continues. “ I could see the film crew trying to blow mosquitoes off their knuckles while they were trying to get certain shots. Some spots were more unbearable than others. If you look closely you can see them buzzing around throughout the video. I’m thankful to have had a crew to fight through the elements with me to create a vision that turned out highlighting and embracing one of the most beautiful parts of our region. It was worth it to us to capture that moment in time. We found the beauty in the chaos, much like finding peace beyond anxiety and depression. The video starts at sunrise and ends at dusk. We made it through another day.”
Watch the clip below, and pre-order the album here.