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EP Premiere: Feather Beds – Ah Stop


Having just returned to Dublin following two years living in Quebec, Dublin producer Michael Orange AKA Feather Beds has hit the ground of his homeland running with Ah Stop, a stellar new EP was recorded “in the middle of a particularly gruelling and sub-zero winter in Montreal” back in February.

An appendix of sorts to his debut album, The Skeletal System, which was released at the start of the year, the EP shows a self-described “marked shift in direction towards a more electronic feel and brings an introduction to the second full-length album, which is scheduled for release in 2016.”

As just under fifteen minutes in length, the four-track release – which we’re happy to premiere here – is already a contender for one of our favourite Irish EPs of the year so far. Stream Ah Stop and check out our brief chat with Orange about the release and future plans below.

The EP “was recorded in the middle of a particularly gruelling and sub-zero winter in Montreal”. Do you think that affected the sound of the release?

I think so. I was told by Montrealers that last winter was particularly bad, even by their standards, but the snow is beautiful as well. It was my first experience of winter in Canada and it was definitely a shock to the system. You often hear of Canadian artists speaking about having nothing to do in winter other than stay indoors and work on music and I truly understand that now! The winter most definitely affected my state of mind, which of course then affects the music that you’re making.

What software/instruments did you use in the composition and production of the EP?

I record everything myself onto Logic. In terms of instruments, it’d be a mixed bag – there’d be guitar, drums, synths, drum machines, chimes, etc. Lots of vocal layering, I’d be a big fan of My Bloody Valentine and that sort of thing, so I tend to layer a lot of stuff together and end up having ridiculous amounts of audio tracks in my songs. For this EP I also sampled a lot of stuff, a lot of it non-instrument stuff, found sounds, etc. I really enjoy experimenting and sampling, especially non-instrument things, things that can’t necessarily be replicated or identified. I also worked with a friend of mine, Brett Crudgington, an amazing jazz pianist from New York. I got him to send me some takes of him playing on the tracks and I spent some time with them, cutting them up and looping them. I really enjoyed that.


Where did you draw influence and inspiration when putting the tracks together?

In terms of musical influences, I’d be a fan of lots of stuff – electronic, drone, pop, kraut rock, noisy stuff as well. The last few months I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff like Four Tet, Oliver Wilde, Cocteau Twins, Tortoise, Televise, Women, Birthmark, they’re the ones that are springing to mind.

You’re now back in Dublin after two years in Canada. What’s the plans for the forseeable future?

As far as plans for the rest of the year and beyond go, after this EP I’ll start recording album two, I’ve got a lot of pretty well developed demos kicking around, so yeah, I’d say September/October I’ll look to really get into that and all going well, it’ll be out in 2016.

Keep up to date with Feather Beds over on his Facebook page.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.