Consider expectations defied. Black Feather seemed like such a folk-worthy name; to a somewhat minor extent, Black Feather fulfills folk sensibilities, but the emphasis is minor. The same can be said for pop, though to an even lesser extent. Where this band comes full circle, however is in combining these two genres with experimentation. There’s a weighty portion of eclecticism here that simply cannot be denied.
This, perhaps, can be summed up best in the seven-and-a-half minute track “Razor Blade”, where there’s an orchestrated instrumental consistency, a massive vocal hook in the chorus, and wild, drone-ridden electric guitar riffs. It’s true — this song is an epic worthy anthem, a trait common throughout Silhouette. “If You Can’t Feel Yr Heart” has a pop worthy vocal pattern, while “American Zen” has a legendary crescendo from its humble beginnings to seemingly impossible guitar distortion heights.
The most astonishing part of Silhouette, though — what’s surprising, above all — is that it is Black Feather’s debut. But Black Feather mastermind Harald Frøland, is no stranger to music. Frøland, a former member of Jaga Jazzist, a 10-piece Norwegian experimental jazz group whose melodies are intricate, eccentric and aberrant. Understanding ensues.
Silhouette is merely and diversion from prior work, the striking out on one’s own with the occasional help of those from the past (featured within are select current and past members of Jaga). And it is the encapsulation of inner genius, darkness, brilliance, and skill, all combined in one. It makes Silhouette one of the greatest debuts of 2009, and Black Feather a possible contender for new artist of the year.
Black Feather: Razor Blade [mp3]
[audio:090922-black_feather-razor_blade.mp3|titles=Razor Blade|artists=Black Feather]
Other Electricities [CD, 2009]
1. The Cut
2. Shake Me Awake
3. Razor Blade
4. American Zen
5. If You Can’t Feel Yr Heart
6. Etienne De Silhouette
7. Cool Cloud
8. Ardent Cloud
9. The Ballad Of Ion Thief