The Feelies’ new album “In Between” is superb. The band is based in Haledon, New Jersey, (pronounced HALE-dun), and they have long been compared to The Velvet Underground. Many people have never heard of The Feelies. It’s one reason why you should check them out.
The Feelies were founded in 1976. Over the past 41 years, they have put out only six albums: “Crazy Rhythms” (1980), “The Good Earth” (1986), “Only Life” (1988), “Time for a Witness” (1991), “Here Before” (2011), and “In Between” (2017).
“Crazy Rhythms” is an up-tempo, frenetic album of indie rock that Rolling Stone ranked as one of the 100 best albums of the 1980s. It had little in common with the top-selling bands of 1980 — Blondie, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Olivia Newton-John, and Captain and Tennille.
But The Feelies’s sound, without losing its edge, becomes more meditative and mature starting with “The Good Earth.” It’s this sound we love most — something that our soul instantly recognizes as nourishment.
Here’s the song “Flag Days” from “In Between”:
The Feelies probably never became a household name because they decided to not abandon their artistic vision to sell more records. Hence, one of the reasons why you should check them out.
In search of fame and money, too many bands, and other artists for that matter, ditch the things that made them unique and special and original. It’s something of a sin.
Artists who contribute something interesting and unique to the world only make the world more interesting and unique. The others just add to the blandness. They make the world a less exciting, possibly more conformist, place to live. The public, of course, plays a role, too — do you stick with the bland, or do you seek the special?
The band’s name comes from a fictional entertainment device described in the 1932 novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Today, The Feelies are Glenn Mercer (guitar and vocals), Bill Million (guitar and vocals), Dave Weckerman (percussion), Brenda Sauter (bass), and Stan Demeski (drums).
For anyone not familiar with The Feelies, “The Good Earth” is an excellent place to start. Our favorites are that and “Time for a Witness.” After every listen, however, “In Between” moves closer to the those two. All Feelies albums are exceptional.
We recommend “In Between.” We recommend The Feelies.