Horse Feathers: “Fit Against the Country”
Portland, Oregon-based chamber-folk group Horse Feathers evoke images of wintry Pacific Northwest nights spent reading by candlelight in some secluded, long-forgotten cabin. They have a visceral yet contemplative sound that’s a combination of dusty folk and plaintive baroque.
Horse Feathers is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Justin Ringle who in 2004 moved from his native Idaho to Portland. It was there he met multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick. Ringle had already performed solo under the Horse Feathers’ moniker, but the pair (along with a revolving cast of talented musicians) crafted what would become Horse Feathers’ signature sound. In 2008 Broderick left the group, and Nathan Crockett took his place as Ringle’s collaborator.
Today Horse Feathers releases its fourth full-length record Cynic’s New Year. It includes today’s song of the day “Fit Against the Country.” With a wistful, breathy tenor Ringle sings a song about a bleak tale of endless work and ever-mounting debt. The verses feature menacing, staccato strings and baleful acoustic guitar. There’s a tiny glimpse of hope in the chorus before Ringle sings, “Every night we all go to a house we’ll never own. Every night we are tired, we’ve been worked to the bone,” and that cycle of toil is going to keep on going. It’s a dark song for sure, but Horse Feathers inject it with a humanity that’s hard to deny.