Album Review: A Blaze Of Feather – A Blaze Of Feather

Rugged and mysterious, A Blaze Of Feather’s self-titled debut release is somewhat victorious. Notoriously enigmatic, the band are thus far as renowned for their unusual leapfrog to fame as their sound, but that is soon to change. Mickey Smith, Ben Howard’s long standing guitarist and friend has come forth and shared his own musical project with the world; the band A Blaze Of Feather has been rapidly gaining moment following a hazy introduction to the public by Ben Howard on social media, indeed they are set to headline several festivals this summer in spite of their very recent emergence from obscurity.

Inspired by the wild west coasts of Ireland and Cornwall, the music is simple, the sound atmospheric yet refined. It is easy on the ear and is sure to be pleasurable for all. A Blaze Of Feather’s work is a reflection of their time on the road touring with Ben, of the toll that working away from home can have on the family unit and all that comes between, “it’s music for the madness of life, death and the bittersweet spaces in between” Smith explains.

Stand out tracks include We Were Here, Valkyrie and Dust In The Wind but truly the whole album is exquisite. Rather than being filled with summertime singalong hits, the record is bursting with epic instrumentals and willowy vocals, yet somehow the effect is the same. The band will surely be a fabulous live festival act, and the music will compliment any summer holiday soundtrack.

The record was recorded in wintery Cornwall; the shadowy sound romantically reflects the land to which it was born. It is evocative, moody neo-folk. Made up of the same six members as Ben Howard’s band there is an inevitable likeness between A Blaze Of Feather and BH’s work and yet there is a depth to the musicality which makes the band’s album something special and unique.

Coming to a festival near you this season, be sure to check out A Blaze Of Feather’s new album, it could well be the sound of the summer.

Jessica Newsome