The Wild Feathers kicked off their career as a heartland rock & roll band, releasing a debut album whose songs – harmony-heavy and guitar-filled – sounded like the soundtrack to a road trip across Middle America. It's fitting, then, that the group recently headed to Marfa, Texas, to shoot the new music video for "Help Me Out," filling the clip's four minutes with blue sky, burning sun, prairie grass and nighttime fireworks.
Premiering today at Rolling Stone Country, the video marks a back-to-basics approach for the Wild Feathers, whose second release, Lonely Is a Lifetime, widens the band's rock & roll reach.
"The album's first single, 'Overnight,' wasn't your typical Wild Feathers song," admits Ricky Young, who shares lead vocals on "Help Me Out" with bandmates Taylor Burns and Joel King. "With this song, we wanted to get back to that traditional Wild Feathers sound, with the different singers and the harmonies. We also wanted to find a place that captured the loneliness of that song, so we went out to Marfa and spent a few days at El Cosmico."
Billed as a "nomadic hotel and campground," El Cosmico spreads itself across 21 acres of high plains desert, offering open space, sunshine and accommodations that range from old-school Sioux teepees to vintage trailers. The Wild Feathers – whose ranks also include drummer Ben Dumas, a longtime member whose makes his studio debut with this year's Lonely Is a Lifetime – spent three days at the hotel. Working alongside videographer Gus Black, who also teamed up with the band for 2013's "Hard Wind," the guys stuck to a loose set of guidelines: have fun, don't take yourself too seriously and watch out for flying fireworks.
Young, who took a bottle rocket to the arm during a particularly wild evening, says the experience helped reenergize a group that's been on the road for the better part of five years, weathering the ups and downs of an unpredictable industry. During the video's final minutes, we see Young singing the song's hook directly to his bandmates. It's a touching moment that steers "Help Me Out" away from love-song territory, pushing it toward something more brotherly and communal instead.
"That's our 'Lean On Me,'" Young explains. "It's about sharing all the stuff we share as friends, brothers and bandmates. Everything we go through, we go through together, whether it's a 15-hour flight or a 20-hour drive or a 90-minute show. It's a call to your friends to help you out."
The band has a few long drives ahead of it, as they'll be opening shows for Band of Horses through August.
Wild Feathers' upcoming tour dates:
August 13 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
August 15 – Garden City, ID @ Revolution Event Center
August 16 – Spokane, WA @ The Fox Theatre
August 18 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theatre
August 19 – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
August 20 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
August 22 – Bend, OR @ Century Center
August 23 – Napa, CA @ Uptown Theatre
August 24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
August 26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Arlington Theatre
September 10 – Hamilton, OH @ River’s Edge Amphitheater
September 16-18 – Del Mar, CA (San Diego) @ Kaboo Festival
September 22 – Marfa, TX @ Trans Pecos Festival
September 23-25 – Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful Festival