Starified have quite a light and spacey take on rock ‘n roll that combines the lively and loose feeling of 1970’s rock with ideas that many alternative rock acts of today take on. Their second full-length Feathers just dropped December of last year, and the title very much matches the music itself. That isn’t to say that there aren’t harder guitars and vocal attitude, but there’s a lot of air in this element.
Fear not; that may sound like a turnoff, but rest assured that I don’t mean air as in “blank” or “empty,” but an atmosphere that makes the instrumentation sound like it’s floating through space. When the vocals are more laid back, they’re quite high pitched and bare no signs of threat. The bass is also placed high in the draw order, as the tone is melodic but droney. Give “Guessing Game” a listen, and get a good taste of the way that it backs the singer.
The guitars here have some obvious pedal work going on; not quite to the point that I’d call it dream pop or shoegaze, but there is a buffed out feeling of reverberation and echo particularly in the solos. Weirdly enough, this sits atop rhythms that aren’t far from doom rock territory and it works excellently. The fact that this was all done on analog equipment without digital tampering likely gives way to how neat it sounds, naturally pumping it with that rock ‘n roll feeling. In the wrong hands, this could have been fatal.
Where does the alternative rock come in? Simply the approachable nature combined with the melodies and poppy drum patterns are what cake this on the most. It doesn’t stop there though, because tracks like “Selfish Dream” bring on brass instruments and horns, which made the disc take an unexpected turn about halfway through. For a record with only seven songs, Starified really managed to cram a lot of ideas into Feathers.
Really, this was quite a trip of the mind that took a lot of focus and multiple listens to get a full grasp. There are clean guitars, hard guitars, pedals, horns, alt-rock influences, and a classic rock foundation, all filled with helium to make it seem extra light and spacey. This could appeal to anyone who digs artists ranging from Aerosmith to The 1975. I know that’s a huge spectrum, but I suggest listening to at least one track strictly for how neat it is.
Feathers came out on December 12th, 2018 through CSBR Records, and can be found digitally on Bandcamp. I haven’t come across any physical copies, sadly.