You know how it goes, some days you hanker after the challenging, multi-layered, intricately produced; the edge of the next wave of musical whatever it is. But then there are other days (increasingly frequent for yours truly) where actually what you want is something more intimate, more immediate and human. To say ‘simple’ sounds a little patronising, but I guess I mean something that is comfortable with itself, something that it isn’t trying to be genre-busting but just doing a good job of where it’s at.
Our Feathered Embers fall very nicely into this grouping for me. A couple of young folk proto-beardies from London who are collecting some well deserved praise around-abouts. Antony Hurley has vocal, guitar, cello and harmonium duties, whereas Oscar Schumacher delivers vocals, guitar and the bits of percussion (not sure who is responsible for the banjo). They claim impeccable influences – J Tillman, Peter Broderick, John Martyn and so forth, and to me there is a welcome twang of things Kings of Convenience to them as well. I guess its the stripped back-ness to the songs, the gentle, picked guitar and two intertwining vocals, complimented from time to time with a bit of cello or harmonium. Very easy on the ear (but not in a vapid sort of way you understand), oddly familiar, comforting and quite beguiling.
If you jump around between their FB pages , web site and Soundcloud you can chance across four tracks (by my reckoning – Spires, Down the Sally Gardens, Riverboat Blues and The Runner), a couple can be downloaded if that takes your fancy.
In July it seems they recorded a single, When You Wake, for which I can only so far find a teasing 48 second promo video but there is already a full session video, produced by General Aesthetic, for the rather lovely single’s B side, Any Way (complete with added banjo), which is embedded below (other vids can also be found on YouTube for other OFE tracks). It seems the hand crafted single will be available from September at shows (c’mon, let the rest of us get hold of it too !).
It seems the chaps are regulars around the London and surrounding area circuit (which sadly doesn’t yet extend as far as deepest Gloucestershire) but the intrepid duo are off for a few dates to Ireland and to do a photo/vid shoot as well.
Here’s hoping for more from the OFE chaps, maybe a show or two westward? and p’raps a consolidated EP offering?