Last year, the Wild Feathers criss-crossed the country as the opening act for pioneers such as Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. This year, the guys have graduated to headliner status, taking a well-deserved victory lap in support of their debut album — a self-titled release rooted in Gibson guitars, thick harmonies, bubbling B3 organ and other sounds of the American heartland — before it becomes time to buckle down and start a new record.
That second record is coming, and the guys have already lined up a producer in Jay Joyce, the man behind recent albums by Eric Church and Little Big Town. It’ll be their second time working together. When Joyce recorded the band’s debut album two years ago, though, he hadn’t finished renovating the East Nashville church that currently serves as his studio. You can’t blame the Wild Feathers for wanting to try out that new space, even if the guys aren’t quite ready to track an entire album just yet.
In this live clip of “Happy Again” (above) — a concert staple that’ll likely find its way onto the new record, too — the guys help break in Joyce’s studio with guitarmonies, cymbal crashes and melodies that split the difference between 1970s classic rock and 21st century Americana.
“We’ve been playing ‘Happy Again’ on the road, but it was previously unrecorded,” says bass player Joel King, who doubles as one of the band’s three lead vocalists. “We thought it was a good opportunity to lay it down and play it live at Jay Joyce’s new studio.”
“‘Happy Again’ is a song about chasing a high, whatever that high may be,” adds Taylor Burns, the song’s frontman. “For some, it’s booze or getting stoned. For others, it’s sex or working out. In the end, we’re all chasing something external to get us through the day.”
The Wild Feathers’ tour dates stretch until Thanksgiving, with shows at West Coast venues like L.A.’s El Rey Theatre and East Coast staples like the 9:30 Club and Irving Plaza.