The later 2010s have seen some unlikely evolutions in certain folk-rock bands’ trajectories. For instance, both the Head and the Heart and the National Parks have moved forward from the strummy Americana earworms of their previous work to adopt a more layered pop sound.
Now, Feral Conservatives have adopted a similar path into a new sonic field with their latest efforts. Ditching the more folk-influenced sounds of their previous releases, they’re now shooting for a jangly pop-rock sound. Their latest record reflecting these changes, Better Lives will be out via EggHunt on 3 November.
Their latest single is the breezy and nostalgic “Angels”. It’s a tune that is deeply reflective of the pop-rock of the ‘80s and ‘90s that you might’ve heard decorate California boardwalks as its unofficial soundtrack once upon a time. It is co-produced and mixed by Jon Auer, who’s especially had his time in the sun during that era of music with the Posies and Big Star.
“I was quite pleased when they first approached me, mostly because I’m really picky about who I work with and I really felt like their songs were solid, that they were a band who’d already put the work in and created a distinctive sound for themselves,” says Auer.
“The recorded performances were excellent and certainly Rashie’s vocals stand out in a crowd. Ultimately, I felt my role was to add the finishing details to the record, little ‘sonic bonuses’ if you will, the occasional harmony vocal and keyboard part, and then make the mixes sound as cinematic and inviting as possible.”
Lead vocalist, mandolinist, and songwriter Rashie Rosenfarb says, “There’s a theme quietly running like a current throughout this album that deals with mental health and ‘Angels’ is the pool it leads to.”
Rosenfarb continues, “There’s a sense of redemption and hope in the song. A feeling that it’s possible to overcome even your darkest moments. I actually wrote it during the recording process and it just kind of tumbled out of me. After showing it to the band we knew it had to be part of the record.”