With Trent Reznor announcing an upcoming Nine Inch Nails album, all these young electro groups better get a piece of sonic real estate while the getting’s still good. Bands like The Naked and Famous and Brahms have been pumping out vibey industrial-ish pop songs for the past two years, and there’s oddly still enough room for more. Austin-based Feathers’ debut album, If All Now Here, is a testament to what a super girl-group with members from Ringo Deathstarr, Missions, Midnight Masses, and Carl Sagan can do!
Playing heavily off electronic programming and slick, ’80s synths, Feathers kicks off the album with “Land of the Innocent.” The pulsing bass line and wet drums frame the group’s ’80s pop vixen-vocal melodies.
The thick Roland drum beat, fat, slappy bass and moody vocals on “Soft” are the perfect soundtrack to the “alternative” prom your goth girlfriend threw in 1993 to protest the “regular” prom senior year. Snappy enough to dance to, yet emotional enough to spend the evening in a dark closet, “Soft” is everything you wanted this summer. There’s also a sense of Latin Freestyle coming off the silky smooth harmonies the girls pull off.
Songs like “Night Seances” and “Fire in the Night” rely heavily on deep, thick, percussive bass lines. There’s a lot of ’90s dance injected into these songs rather than the typical ’80s New Wave heard in most “retro” groups. It works because rather than attacking the vocals with syrupy sweet vocals (à la Chvrches), finessed, dreamy pipes are abundant in this group.
If All Now Here strives to be something that should be cherished and celebrated by tons of synth-hungry music fans, but these days, the general public wants EDM with drops and bass wobbles. People forget the Front 242 influences or uniform New Order synth programming. We’re lucky to have groups like Feathers putting life back into electronic pop without caring about how chill it sounds on a dance floor.