Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Studio Soundtracks: Feathers
Meet Feathers, the band behind the kick-ass song in our Shoe Cult video. Pop’s most entrancing new four-piece female band started life as the one-woman recording project of Anastasia Dimou, who left her NYC home in 2011 in pursuit of ‘space and a spark’ in Austin. She soon found inspiration in the open skies and wide plains of western Texas, where she penned a hypnotic debut record and assembled a troupe of likeminded musicians—Courtney Voss, Kathleen Carmichael and alternating members Destiny Montague and Alex Gehring.
Having released their debut album If All Here Now back in May, Feathers have gone on to tour with Little Boots and opened for Depeche Mode. As the band prepares to embark on its first West Coast tour, Nasty Gal caught up with Anastasia to talk about astrology, taking off for Austin, and the power of being alone
Interview by Phoebe Lovatt
What was the trigger that prompted you to leave New York for Austin?
I was ready for a change. When you’re writing a record, going somewhere else is just what you do – I’ll probably go somewhere else to write the next one. I basically moved to give myself a complete culture shock. It really did serve its purpose, so I’m happy that I did it!
What sort of creative headspace did Austin put you in?
I’ve always had this fascination with the desert, and this part of Texas is super-open. If you drive for even just half an hour out of Austin, you start to see really expansive, dry landscapes. There’s a sort of a mystical element to it for me… I remember writing one song while envisioning Marfa in New York – I had a fascination with it long before I saw it. It’s totally a foreign landscape out here. I think a lot of musicians find western Texas inspiring in the same way.
Is there a supportive creative community in the city?
For sure, although I think you can find that anywhere you go. There’s a supportive creative community in New York, but Austin runs at a slower pace and people are more engaged with what you’re doing, rather than being completely involved in their own projects.
What was your frame of mind while you were writing the album, ‘If All Now Here?’
It was a meditative record in some ways. There are big choruses on some songs, but others are quite linear and hypnotic. It’s not an unsettled album, but there’s definitely a theme of searching. For example, there’s one song called ‘Fire In the Night’, which is about searching for that piece of your soul that you can only find when you’re in complete isolation and really connecting with the Earth. I envisioned being in the desert, but being OK with being alone because you’re really tapping into something special and finding a power within yourself.
Why did you decide to turn Feathers into a band when you got to Austin?
Although I wrote the album alone, I never wanted to perform completely by myself; I wanted to create a real ‘wall of sound’ on stage, so I knew I needed other musicians with me to bring the music to life.
Who decides what the band wears on stage?
We don’t really have any rules. In the beginning we would occasionally dress in similar clothing because we thought that was fun. These days it really depends on where we’re playing. If it’s a place with great lighting and a real epic atmosphere then it feels right to dress in something long and sheer and dramatic. But sometimes it’s a rock club and then obviously you want to feel a little more casual. We each have our own unique sense style, but it always ends up coming together really well.
(All photos from Instagram)