ABOVE: FEATHERS’ ANASTASIA DIMOU
New York City native Anastasia Dimou was grabbing breakfast at Whole Foods when she received an email that her band Feathers was offered the opening slot for a leg of Depeche Mode’s European Tour. Her reaction? “I punched the sky, uttered a silent scream, and almost fell into a cereal aisle out of excitement.”
After being handpicked by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore to open for the legendary band at last year’s SXSW, Feathers was selected once again to join the English rockers on their side of the pond later this month. The band’s endorsement has helped spread the word about Feathers, which began as Dimou’s solo electro-pop project after her PJ Harvey-influenced band Cruel Black Dove disbanded in 2011 and she relocated from New York City to Austin.
Since creating Feathers, which is rounded out by a rotating lineup of Dimou’s friends, Dimou released her spellbinding debut full-length If All Now Here last May and is due to drop her four-song EP Only One next week. We caught up with Dimou just before New Year’s Day to talk about Feathers’ roots and what we can expect in 2014, including her forthcoming EP and tour with Depeche Mode. We’re also pleased to premiere the EP’s first single, “The Only One,” below.
GIVEN NAME: Anastasia Dimou
HOMETOWN: New York, NY
CURRENT LOCATION: Austin, TX
ON HER BRAINCHILD: Feathers began as my solo recording project. I really enjoy collaborations, so at times I thought it would turn into more of a band situation, but I ultimately found that it works best for me when I can be flexible with how the live show is presented. No two tours have actually been the same in terms of lineup. I’ve kind of grabbed at who was available at different times and tried to balance things out. With this upcoming tour being very special for me, I really wanted to make sure I was surrounded by my favorite people, and also people who could handle the jump to arenas, so I asked Destiny Montague, Shirley Ho (from my previous band), and Christine Aprile. Even our sound person is someone I include as one of my closest friends.
LEAVING THE PAST BEHIND: We hit a creative wall in [Cruel Black Dove] and wanted to try other things. Alan (Veucasovic) shot a video for me, and Shirley is coming on the upcoming tour with me, so it was never a bust. It became quite like a family, in that despite our dysfunctional moments, we support each other still.
ASSEMBLING AN ALL-GIRL GROUP: It wasn’t a very conscious decision. When I moved to Austin, I didn’t know very many people here, except for the women I added. I’m hesitant to say I’m partial, I don’t see it as being very different from working with men, though I do enjoy having female background vocals a lot. I will say that the lineup I have going for my next tour is particularly exciting for me because it has some of my closest friends, and all three women have incredible voices and presence. For the past year and a half I’ve actually had a male drummer in the lineup, and I could always end up incorporating others when it makes sense.
OPENING FOR DEPECHE MODE: I’m excited about all of it! Looking forward to experience what it’ll be like to be on a very professional tour, and have the best of sound. Also, we will have days off in between all the shows and are definitely going to make the most of them—if anyone reading this has suggestions for those cities, please send them our way, would love to hear them. And, we’re all excited about the food service… we think there might be a juice bar.
CHOOSING AUSTIN: I’d always only considered the east or west coast, and I wanted to challenge myself and my comfort level a bit. I knew I wanted a place that would be so new, that I wouldn’t have the wherewithal to be influenced musically by anything or anyone, but also have access to a city that’s not off the map. Tons of friends and touring artists are always passing through, so I can still see both.
ONLY ONE: There are two new songs on the EP, “Wild Love” and “The Only One,” as well as a remix of “Familiar So Strange” that sounds like it belongs on the Drive soundtrack, and the original version of “Believe,” which is a bit more electro/slick than the version on the record.
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: New artists, such as Kirin J. Calinan and Rangelklods, but I’m also going through a “big” phase right now, where all I want to do is blare “What Now” by Rihanna or Lady Gaga and sing at the top of my lungs. Moments of euphoria call for it.
FEATHERS WILL PLAY MERCURY LOUNGE TONIGHT, JANUARY 7, AND GLASSLANDS JANUARY 9. THEIR ONLY ONE EP IS OUT JANUARY 13. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, PLEASE VISIT ITS WEBSITE.