Listen to Winter Sister
West Bend is a Southeast Wisconsin town where the Milwaukee River shifts directions, angling to suddenly head West. It’s also the home of Blessed Feathers, a duo that began when Donivan Berube’s life similarly altered course. Hailing from Lakeland Florida, FL, Berube was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, teaching himself guitar and recorded songs in his bedroom in an attempt to pursue his passion. The musician eventually left home at 17, disassociating himself from the church and driving 36 hours from the Florida sunshine into a Wisconsin blizzard. Berube found work in a restaurant in West Bend where he met Jacquelyn Beaupre, who is now his partner in both music and life.
The pair played their first show at a West Bend bookstore in April of 2010 at a meeting of the Fireside Books’ Poetry Club, building a reputation in the surrounding towns. Their stock of songs grew, all captured via a laptop and microphone in their bedroom. In mid-2012, however, Blessed Feathers selected their favorite five tracks to record with producer Kevin McMahon (Real Estate, Titus Andronicus, The Walkmen) at his studio in New Paltz, NY. The songs, which comprise the band’s debut EP, Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds, encapsulate Berube and Beaupre’s collective experiences, aiming to capture both their emotional and geographic journeys.
The pair contributed numerous instruments to the album, including banjo, flute, vibraphone and various percussion. But, ultimately, McMahon and the band focused on maintain the earthy, homespun sound that Blessed Feathers has cultivated over the past few years. The EP resonates with a woodsy vibe, urging the listener into an intimate, skillfully crafted sonic space—aided in many ways by McMahon’s recording style.