NZ Wife-Husband Duo TERRIBLE SONS Announce ‘With Feathers’ EP (Out July 26); Listen To “Hold Fire” Here

May 16, 2019 BY Nettwerk


New Zealand husband and wife indie folk duo Terrible Sons return with “Hold Fire“, the first release from their upcoming EP With Feathers (out July 26 via Nettwerk). The track implores the listener to pause before engaging in caustic debates – a poignant reminder in today’s political climate and in personal relationships, alike.

“’Hold Fire’ was written like a ‘battle whisper’ in response to angry social media comments’ sections. I get frustrated reading comments that try to box complex issues into simple right and wrong side arguments. I wanted to express the feeling of waiting in the discomfort of uneasy answers, waiting in the grey; sitting between one side and the other before firing off your opposition. Sometimes it just doesn’t bring out the best of humanity,” says the band.

Made up of Matthew and Lauren Barus, the couple alongside their two children, live in an intentional community near Christchurch, NZ. Besides offering a system of mutual support and belonging, the community also provides much of the inspiration behind the band’s work. While their debut EP certainly radiates a more muted acoustic vibe, With Feathers, reaches a deeper level of intimacy. No doubt, a product of living in such a tight-knit neighborhood, it’s also the result of making music in a house full of children.

Before Matt and Lauren met, they were both touring musicians in New Zealand, each making music work for them in different ways. After attending jazz school where she studied voice and piano, Lauren worked as a solo artist, doing session work and playing support for big-name artists like Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. While playing with collaborative supergroup, Fly My Pretties, Lauren also released music under the moniker L.A. Mitchell. Matt formed rock group The Dukes with his brother, eventually landing a publisher and touring with Blondie and The Pretenders. In need of a keyboardist, the band brought on Lauren.

With distinct musical backgrounds, Matt and Lauren combine their sonic tendencies to create a cohesive and lush sound. Musically, with Lauren’s voice and piano background, she brings a spaciousness to their sound, while Matt’s guitar playing “leans towards the angular.” And though the guitar is used percussively, Matt also likes experimenting with more open or ambiguous chords. Lauren distills their partnership saying, “while Matt would chase the unexpected, I would probably chase the things that flow.”

This juxtaposition certainly carries through in the duo’s upcoming release, With Feathers and the idea of contrast, both in sound and subject matter, recurs throughout the five songs that make up the EP. If there is a theme that rises above the rest, it is hope in all its incarnations. In naming the EP, Matt says, “We called it With Feathers because there’s that Emily Dickinson poem, ‘hope is the thing with feathers.’ We like that idea of hope being light, flying away from it or flying to it.” “Flying despite it,” Lauren adds. Naturally, the duo looked to the people they know best: themselves and the people in their neighborhood. “There are a lot of people with mental health issues, and there’s an addiction center just down the road,” says Matt.

With Feathers will be available out on Nettwerk on July 26. For more music, please visit here.

With Feathers Tracklist:

  1. Hold Fire
  2. Makes You Run
  3. Ruffle
  4. Please
  5. Rolling Thunder