Interview: From a Breakup Song, Little Feather Form a Musical Family
American roots country. Boho hippie chic. The happiest band on Earth.
Ask Little Feather to describe their music in a few words, and they'll tell you any or all of the above. Frontwoman Liz Sharpe says run-on sentences are better descriptors for them than single adjectives.
"We're not twang country. We're not Southern rock country. We're not mainstream pop country," Sharpe tells The Boot, figuratively drawing a line through potential genre labels.
Little Feather are, however, what happens when a woman with a family tree connected to Patty Loveless and Loretta Lynn and her drummer husband start playing music, just for fun, with friends -- one of whom happens to be Glen Campbell's son -- in a friend's basement. Sharpe, drummer Aaron Spraggs, bassist Dylan Rowe, rhythm guitarist Sam Brooker, slide guitarist Pat Boyer and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Campbell bring with them a variety of musical influences and backgrounds; take away their quirks and imperfections, though, and "you lose the essence," Sharpe says.
Little Feather have been playing together for more than seven years. Now signed to Curb Records -- on which they released their self-titled debut album on Friday (Sept. 29) -- the band was previously signed to Zac Brown's now-defunct Southern Ground, though they released no music through that label. After Southern Ground folded, they were in talks with a few other labels, but Curb "just felt right -- like family."
"This has been a work of art," Sharpe says of Little Feather, "and it has actually, truly been an in-house, family, band project, where every song, we've had our hands in it, molding the clay, so to speak."
"Hillbilly Love Song (Hey Y'all)," Little Feather's lead track and Little Feather's debut single, is a good place to start to get a feel for what the band is all about. A little swampy, the song "kind of mixes all those [influences] together in a pot," Sharpe says.
"Everybody knows that feeling of ... being like, 'Man, tonight, I just wish I was home.' ... Everybody's felt that, where they've wanted to have a glass of wine and just dance around their living room to their favorite song and feel like they're home," she adds. "[The song is about] that whole idea of, you take the things that you love with you everywhere you go, and you don't forget where you come from."
Where Little Feather come from is actually a funny story: When an ex-boyfriend was breaking up with Sharpe, he told her (completely seriously, she says), "Float along, little feather." His nonchalance bothered her, so she called up a couple friends, and they wrote a song about it, called "Float Along, Little Feather."
"It was supposed to be this 'F you' heartbreak song," Sharpe remembers, "but it turned into this cathartic, amazing [thing]."
Friends started calling Sharpe "Little Feather" as a joke, but as she was getting the band together, it just made sense as their name.
"[I wanted to] build this band with people I want to be around -- good spirits that I could live with on a bus for 30 years," she notes. "It's been the coolest thing because, yeah, we started from that nickname and the song, but ... we're buddies, we're a family ... We are birds of a feather ...
"I know that's so stupid and cliche," Sharpe adds, "but we really are ... and it all stemmed from that stupid little nickname from that stupid little breakup."
Visit LittleFeatherMusic.com to learn more about Little Feather, their debut album and their upcoming tour dates.
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