Oklahoma City-based psychedelic folk-rockers Horse Thief released today their first full-length album, “Fear in Bliss,” via Bella Union Records Worldwide.
If you want to hear it before actually buying it – and I highly recommended coming up with the cash because it’s moody and beautiful and kind of haunting – you can stream it gratis via Hype Machine by clicking here.
Horse Thief signed last year with Bella Union and released its well-regarded debut EP “Grow Deep, Grow Wild” in April 2013.
Originally founded in Denton, Texas, the band moved its members moved to Oklahoma City to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), from which they recently graduated. The band subsequently signed with The Flaming Lips’ management and soon came to the attention of Bella Union.
Though “Fear in Bliss” was conceived at Horse Thief’s Oklahoma headquarters the band decided to record the album in Los Angeles, “to leave our comfort zone of Oklahoma,” and producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver) has helped the band fuse their renowned stage performance with studio quality, according to a news release.
The band boasts what the release accurately describes as a panoramic yet nuanced sound, flowing from intimate to anthemic, the mood from vibrant to contemplative, with frontman Cameron Neal’s lyrics ranging from confessional to metaphorical.
The over-arching theme to “Fear In Blis”s is “finding yourself and what you believe in, and finding the comfort in acknowledging fear. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression which comes out a lot on the new album. But when everything gets rough, I think there’s always a way to fix it. The biggest thing for me is to give comfort to people, to shed light on the truth that someone is feeling the same way as them,” Neal says in the release.
Appropriately, Horse Thief will play its OKC album release show at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E Sheridan Ave. Deerpeople and Pageantry also will be on the bill. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/ACM.UCO.
My fine colleague Becky Carman will have a feature on Horse Thief, featuring sweet new photos by our own award-winning photographer Nate Billings, in Friday’s The Oklahoman and NewsOK.
Plus, as a special album release day treat, our own entertainment wrangler Nathan Poppe shot and edited this sweet awesome video of Horse Thief covering Neil Young’s “Out on the Weekend”: