When listening to the band The Thing With Feathers, the one thing more prominent than their undeniable personality and individuality is their freshness.
Encapsulating the alternative essence of The 1975 and LANY, and the freedom that comes from being young and invincible, they’re naturals at cooking up realism wrapped in a catchy melody.
Formed originally as a college cover band, The Thing With Feathers (TTWF) has come a long way from where they started. With over 300,000 streams on Spotify, unparalleled community (and international) support, a sold-out show at Nashville’s beloved venue The High Watt, they appear to have no intention of slowing down despite the state of the world. Their newest single, “Midwest Daydreams” proves their ability to only get better– not only by producing a fun song to dance to, but by bringing out the next contributing story in a bigger plot.
Following previous singles like “Figure It Out” and “What You Want”,” “Midwest Daydreams” was written for a situation that needed to addressed and brought back to earth even when it sat naturally in the clouds, pushed away. More specifically, the song chronicles the toxicity of a relationship that’s sinking in direction and a lack of communication fueled by what’s unspoken– we’ve all had relationships that we knew were over before they were officially over.
While full of hurt-tinged intensity, it still leaves room for something that’s central to the soul of The Thing With Feathers– hope.
We caught up with frontman David Welcsh and discussed the new single and much more.
First things first: The Thing With Feathers is a badass name for a band. How did the name as well as the band come together?
The name is from an Emily Dickinson poem called “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers”; hope was one of the themes I wanted the music to revolve around. The band came together like any young band comes together: we had something of a rotating cast with trial and error, but eventually, we found each other and we knew when it was right.
Your new single, “Midwest Daydreams,” while emphasizing the inevitable end of a chapter, leaves plenty of room for something better. Did anything in particular inspire this song?
I really wanted to capture one of the underlying wonders of relationships in the way that our infatuations can roam with this song. I wanted to encompass the way in which they can consume your being without being what is necessarily right for us. The song is supposed to depict two characters losing what they thought they wanted but finding inspiration in the hope for something more.
Is it a standalone single, or can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP/LP?
This one is probably going to sit by itself for a little while.
In a similar aspect, what is something special on the horizon for The Thing with Feathers?
I don’t know how much I’m allowed to disclose, but we’ve been working very hard on a large collection of songs. We’re trying to describe the way we’ve all been feeling since we started playing together, and I couldn’t be prouder of the direction it’s heading. Our growth as writers together has really been a joy for me over the past few months while starting this project. I think 2021 is going to be a very fun year for us.
Your debut single, “Figure it Out,” was described as a “powerful catalyst” in reaching international audiences. What has that been like?
Hahaha, honestly, it has been a very cool thing seeing all of the places something you can create will go. Every once in a while, someone from Brazil will comment on a YouTube video of ours offering to put us up if we come play there, so that’s something. But in reality, it just keeps us going. All of us started playing music as kids in attics and basements and for a song that we wrote to reach that far has been amazing.
Something to note is the amazing live shows you all put on. Is there a specific show or shows that you always look back on especially fondly?
For me, our last show at The High Watt is consuming my memory. It was the last show we played before quarantine and it was our first sold-out club here in Nashville, which was very special for all of us.
What are some of the best things that come with being an up-and-coming band in Nashville specifically?
The community. Nashville’s band/indie scene has got to be one of the best in the world right now, and it has been such a pleasure. Everybody knows each other, you see everybody on more or less a daily basis, and it’s just fun. The bands are so talented, the studios are amazing, and everyone is so kind. I don’t think I could see us creating anywhere else for a while. Also, our friends at Lightning 100 have been instrumental in us growing more in that scene, in the same way they are for so many other great Nashville bands.
As you’re just starting out, what aspects of the music you’ve put out so far have been the most crucial in developing your sound?
I for one love catchy melodies and big ass guitars. Luckily Alex, our guitarist, is never short for ideas. But more importantly, what a lot of people don’t necessarily recognize off the bat is how tight and intentional Sean, our bass player, and Chris, our drummer’s, parts are. We wouldn’t sound the way we do without their groove.
What was the songwriting process like for “Midwest Daydreams?” Is their one primary writer in the band?
We’ve all sort of taken turns at the helm when it comes to bringing a song to the table. However, “Midwest Daydreams” was a more than collaborative group effort. This song held about four different structures and three different names. We actually tried it out live with a totally different arrangement. Luckily, the perfectionist attitude in our band reigned true and we got ‘Midwest Daydreams’.
What is something you want new listeners to know about The Thing With Feathers?
We simply love to play music for people. When the world allows it, we will be right back in the clubs sharing every bit of ourselves we can with audiences. I was a little nervous about the future of live shows for a while there, but I am confident that we will all be sweating, laughing, and crying together in venues before we know it.