The cover of House with No Home, the second full-length album from Horse Feathers, a dusty west coast folk duo comprised of Justin Ringle and Peter Broderick, depicts a wintry farm dusted with snow. It's an image that's easily conjured throughout each of the 11 songs that make up Home, a subtle, nuanced, and quietly noble collection of Americana-kissed alternative folk that echoes the work of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, James Yorkston, Iron & Wine, and Bon Iver. Ringle, who blends Richard Buckner's soft, serpentine delivery with Andrew Bird's "I can't open my mouth all the way" mumble populates his songs with the kind of woodsy, heart and soul-broken characters that one would expect to find lurking between the pines on a frosty Oregon morning in February, but it's Broderick ( a member of fellow Portland folk outfit Norfolk & Western) who provides the chill.
Horse Feathers is a Portland-based band led by Justin Ringle, an Idaho native who moved to Portland in 2004, along with Peter Broderick, a multi-instrumentalist who has played with a number of bands in Portland over the years, and cello player Heather Broderick (Peter’s sister). Their first album, Words are Dead, received a warm reception from critics when they released it in 2006, and an equally warm reception from fans of Iron and Wine-style Americana. Although Ringle wrote the songs on the album as demos, Words are Dead showed a band that knew more or less exactly what it was going for.