One fall night under a full moon, three musicians with a love for old country songs and obsession with danger and beauty met to play in East Oakland. Thus, Feral was formed. They began singing their beautiful songs about horrible people whenever and wherever they could, sharing whiskey, wine, and music during bad times and good. The first half of their upcoming full-length, Aromatic Bitters, was written in an Airstream trailer in Austin, Texas, during SXSW. The rest was cobbled together on nights of whiskey and burn barrels, in dive bars and small cafes, and on tours with rowdy Canadians in between incidents with border patrol.
Aromatic Bitters mixes the dust of the desert with the heart of the rust belt, stirs it up with heartbreak and struggle, and tops it all off with a dash of bitterness. “Done and Gone” is a country weeper, and the interplay of Cindy’s sweet and sultry voice with Norman’s gravel-gargling rasp will knock you to your knees. “Loose Ends” brings to mind a cowboy who listens to Nick Cave singing about the ruination that love can bring. “Impala” is a hell-raising tune about good cars and bad love. “About You” is a ballad that will make you smile, because sometimes people that don’t seem to match fit together best of all. And “Songs Are All We’re Left With” is a tearjerker you can dance to; an upbeat tune that belies the sorrow of the lyrics. Listening to these songs, and the nine other tracks on Aromatic Bitters, is like taking a late-night drive in a classic car with no idea where you’re headed and a driver who might be half-drunk. The car might crash before you reach your destination, and you might be going straight to hell - but you’re gonna take the ride anyway, and enjoy every minute of it.