The Black Feathers - Strangers We Meet
Sian Chandler and Ray Hughes reside in the rural Gloucestershire countryside, and this long-awaited debut 5-track EP depicts their rural background with a sound that is rooted in folk, though traces of country, bluegrass and blues can also be heard. Ray Hughes’ acoustic guitar, Evan John’s mandolin and resonator guitar and Anna Jenkins’ violin found on several tracks, like the country-styled closer All Came Down, serve as a perfect accompaniment to Sian’s delicate vocals and Ray’s inspired harmonies. Together these two support each other’s strengths perfectly, write fine lyrics too and blend them with the kind of tunes that are so memorable they must have been handed down in dreams.
Sian has a uniquely textured voice, her shimmering soprano takes centre stage on each track, and she approaches each song with a convincing passion for her craft. She might as well be singing directly to you when she purrs on the pretty ballad Open Book. But she also showcases an edgier approach with 10,000 Times and the slightly softer title song that swells from gentle, sparse vocals into an expansive chorus that sets the tone for the EP as a whole. This duo’s whole perspective is a refreshing one, since most of the songs have a positive message. An auspicious beginning for The Black Feathers, an act that is destined to make quite an impact on the rootsy acoustic music scene.