New Music to Know: The Wild Feathers Break New Southern Ground with Debut
By Courtney E. Smith
A Nashville band, with roots in Texas and Oklahoma, The Wild Feathers like to explore the harmonic landscape of Southern rock to personify a very simple idea that has been on a sharp decline since the ’70s: an American band.
But instead of taking cues from other country rockers like Eric Church and Zac Brown, this band leans more to the rock side of things, taking their influences from the Beach Boys, The Band and The Byrds.
“We got to hang out with Paul Simon quite a bit,” guitarist/vocalist Ricky Young said, recounting what they learned in their time opening for him on tour. “He was really funny because he was asking us what some of our influences were and…he started listing off all these incredible gospel vocal groups and he’s like, ‘No one has my ear.’ And he wasn’t being cocky in a negative way.”
The advice Simon was trying to give to the band, which is comprised of four lead singers who musically live in the land of 1960s Laurel Canyon, was to take the instrumentation of those great influences and mix it with other vocal styles.
The single “Hard Wind” — on which Taylor Burns takes lead — weaves all their voices together on the chorus, while the video drops them into a seascape by the desert, the stage of a club and the inevitable tour van.