Following the success of their 2012 Billboard-topping full-length, Cynic’s New Year, the Portland, Oregon-based quartet Horse Feathers delight ecstatic indie folk enthusiasts this year with the release of their fifth studio effort, So It Is With Us. Led by singer-songwriter Justin Ringer, Horse Feathers have captivated fans and listeners alike for the last decade with calming acoustic elements that walk hand-in-hand with a jubilant persona that powerfully fuels the indie rock circuit today.
From the opening tracks, “Violent Wild” and “Dead End Thanks,” we are introduced to a gentle, yet stimulating sound that fully captures Horse Feathers’ eccentric folk aesthetic. While the group uniquely stands alone with a splendid style to call their own, we also cannot help but notice some slight similarities in comparison to Iron & Wine’s Samuel Beam and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon that vocally resonate from Ringer, especially within deep cuts like “Why Do I Try,” “The Knee” and “Irene.” With these comparisons in mind, “Old Media” also adds a cheerful beat into our hearts with an exhilarating sound that recollects the heartwarming and inspiring livelihood of The Shins.
So It Is With Us is an outstanding record to that will provide listeners with eager feelings of sensational bliss that derives from a nostalgic sense of beauty we encounter from the summer’s transitions into autumn. While we are charmed by Ringer’s soothing lyrical narrative throughout, the uniting instrumental arrangement of Nathan Crockett’s soulful violin and mandolin strings align with Lauren Vidal’s cello to insight vibrant images of falling leaves and autumn sunsets on breezy September afternoon drives.
Picking up where they left off, So It Is With Us is an excellent record that passionately adds wondrous and serene elements to define Horse Feathers’ colorful musical catalog.