Tennessee natives The Features rolled into town last Saturday for a pair of back-to-back shows at Mississippi Studios and the Doug Fir Lounge. Although they've been performing for well over a decade, and have opened for acts like Kings of Leon and Manchester Orchestra, The Features have only recently started garnering attention in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to their recent single, "This Disorder."
For their 94/7 Session at Mississippi Studios on Saturday afternoon, they played a raucous five-song set that was exceptionally energetic for a free show - and they brought the same intensity to the second half of their "double feature" at Doug Fir Lounge that night. (Once in a while, you'll see a band phone it in for a free concert or a pre-show appearance. With these guys, they seemed to devote the same level of attention to both shows, which was refreshing.) Musically, a lot of their songs sound like early Kings of Leon (not surprisingly, since they both cut their teeth on the Tennessee music scene in the early 2000s): gritty, southern-infused indie rock that's amazingly good, albeit somewhat uniform. Tracks off their most recent album (the eponymously named "The Features") show a little bit more sonic diversity, however - "This Disorder" has a more mainstream sound (I could almost see Young The Giant doing a cover of this song. Sameer Gadhia, if you're listening to this suggestion: you're welcome.) and "With Every Beat" has a haunting melody that reminded me of Beach House.
(Doug Fir Lounge)
Despite their talent and years in the industry, The Features' name belies that fact that they're still operating under the radar, at least for the time being. Prior to their 94/7 Session at Mississippi Studios, the band was milling about at the back of the venue, and when the doors opened, several eager show-goers practically ran over the band members in their eagerness to secure choice spots by the stage.
While there's something mildly ironic about people ignoring you on the way to see you, I suspect that such anonymity will be short-lived from here on out. If The Features keep turning out catchy tracks like "This Disorder", the next time they're in town, people are definitely going to know who they are.