Features – Wilderness

January 01, 1970

(Serpents and




Pop music has long
been little more than a dismissive slur in the music world. With folks like
Ke$ha and Katie Perry not doing much to help matters, it’s worth
remembering  now and again that pop
doesn’t necessarily have to be synonymous with inane and disposable. And Nashville’s long-running
and just-under-the-radar pop band The Features are that perfect reminder.


With Wilderness, the band’s third full length
and second for the Kings of Leon’s Serpents and Snakes label, they’ve kept
their hallmark psychedelic vibe by keeping the vintage synth sound front and
center on most songs. Front man Matt Pelham’s voice is just off kilter enough
to appeal to the indie crowd, but it’s the strong razor sharp hooks and strong
pop melodies that keep the band from being just another hipster flavor of the
month. Songs like the touching post break up “Fats Domino” and the foot
stomping “Big Mama Gonna Whip Us Good” manage to show both sides of The
Features: earnest and goofy.


Pelham was quoted
recently saying “We’re
not weird enough for a certain crowd and we’re a little bit too out there for
the other crowd. We fall in the middle somewhere between mainstream and
hipster, which puts us in this weird place, but we’re all pretty happy to be


Wilderness may just be the album that
finally connects the dots between mainstream and hipster.


DOWNLOAD: “Big Mama Gonna Whip Us Good,” “Fats Domino” and
“Chapter III”  JOHN B. MOORE

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