Horse Feathers songwriter Justin Ringle writes gorgeous folk songs that so impressed Peter Broderick (who's also lent his talents to Portland powerhouses such as Norfolk & Western, Dolorean and Loch Lomond) that he offered his assistance in recording an album. Not long after, Peter's sister, Heather Broderick, joined the band as chief cellist and backing vocalist. And after releasing one astounding folk record on Portland label Lucky Madison, Words Are Dead, Kill Rock Stars snatched up the Portland-based trio like you'd pounce on a hundred dollar bill abandoned on the street. The label then released Horse Feathers' second record, House With No Home, on September 9. What began as a sparse songwriting project has now blossomed into a fully realized band, with a rotating cast of members who sometimes chip in on saw, banjo, celeste and additional strings. Though Ringle's quiet, lo-fi sensibility shares much in common with Sam Beam's now-famous project, Iron & Wine, adding more instruments and more sophisticated production didn't really do Iron & Wine any favors. But in Ringle's case, the additional instrumentation is so tastefully done that it augments he heartbreaking melancholy of the gentle vox/guitar combination he started with instead of swallowing it up.
Thu., Oct. 2, 9 p.m., 2008