The Black Feathers - Holy Water EP
Nothing quite beats the postman delivering an unexpected parcel and when the contents come as beautifully wrapped this with a trademark Black Feather you know that something special has arrived in the shape of the latest EP from one of the hardest working bands in the UK, The package is completed by a somewhat spooky sticker and a card explaining the inspiration behind the songs.
The title track is simply excellent, inspired from a performance in the chapel of a rehab facility for recovering alcoholics in Nashville, it takes an alternate view to the glorification offered by many Country artists towards alcohol. It tells the story of a man who has given up drinking a bottle a day and has exchanged Whiskey for Holy Water. The vocals of Ray & Sian beautifully entwine and there are remarkably few instruments on the track, just a mournful harmonica here or a muted organ there and an minimal drum beat. This is music of the highest quality without any doubt.
In addition we get to hear the even more raw acoustic demo, not that the single version is exactly awash with instrumentation. This version according to the Black Feathers is "Stripped back and vulnerable".
Also included is a demo of a song to be included on their next album "Lighthouse On Fire", just electric guitar and a drum machine and as ever beautiful vocals and let us not forget this is just the demo.
Even more intriguing are 2 demos from 2011, the real origins of how the band came to exist. There are no plans for these to be recorded and they have never been played live, so you might imagine that they might show their age and perhaps be a bit naive, but no, these in no way tarnish the brand.
"Fur & Bone" shows the Black Feathers with an almost grungy guitar sound while "Fly Away" is acoustic and perhaps close to the sound that would eventually emerge on their debut EP "Strangers We Meet".
There are only 100 copies of these little beauties in existance -if you see one snap it up.