Just a few scant days ago, I heard some tremendous and jawdropping news. The Feelies are releasing an album of all new material this coming spring. Obviously this may not garner as much excitement for anyone under 35 and from most of said age bracket it would most likely inspire a quizzical "Who?". Notoriously reclusive and frustratingly sparse in their material, they are putting out their first full length since 1991's Time For A Witness. That's 20 years, my friends. If you have only heard of this influential band, you may have knowledge of their much lauded debut LP Crazy Rhythms as it tends to land on any respectable critics best of the 80's list. If you were a child of MTV, perhaps you caught the video for single "Away" off of their 1988 LP Only Life directed by their biggest fan Jonathan Demme. Proof of this is evident as The Feelies always seem to get wedged into his movies and on their respective soundtracks. Nevertheless, The Feelies are one the connecting links between The Velvet Underground and what was coined as "college rock". Without The Feelies, there is quite simply no stage being set for bands such as the dB's, Camper Van Beethoven and R.E.M.. It is scary how dull would the indie landscape be without these godfathers of jangle pop and indie folk.
The Feelies - On The Roof
The High Road: The beginnings of the alt-country/No Depression movement can be found here. This could fit nicely on any road trip mixtape.
The Feelies - The High Road
Slipping (Into Something): This owes so much to VU's "Heroin" yet stands out without having to reference it directly. A six minute slow burn that may change your life.
The Feelies - Slipping (Into Something)
The Good Earth: Their best shot at mimicing The Byrds, and biggest Peter Buck influence, is found here. The title track shimmers with 60's riffs redone with a rockin' finale for the 80's kids.
The Feelies - The Good Earth
Slow Down: The album finisher is soft and delicate, but not without an understated strength. The lyrics and theme are deliberate, leaving the listener wishing it lasted a lot longer than it did.
The Feelies - Slow Down
The original album was released on microlabel Coyote Records and distributed by Minneapolis label Twin Tone. Both Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth got the reissue treatment last year from Bar-None Records. Purchase the reissue of The Good Earth here. Bar-None will also be releasing the yet untitled new album next spring.
Editor's Note: mp3's have been removed at the artist's request but please support the Feelies and buy the album!