John Peets


WHO ARE THEY: A Nashville-based combo featuring singer-songwriters Joel King, Ricky Young, Taylor Burns and Preston Wimberly; drummer Ben Dumas was recently added to the band’s roster.

WHY THEY'RE THE NEXT KINGS OF LEON: Like their fellow Tennesseans, The Wild Feathers are a shaggy, stylish crew that shares singing duties. The band’s built on a similar musical foundation too — a mix of big tableau rock, harmony-laden pop songs and Southern rooting. “We love the umbrella of rock,” says bassist/vocalist King, “because we can play anything from ‘Your Cheating Heart’ to ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ ”

The Wild Feathers originally got together as a kind of loose writing project but quickly evolved into a full-fledged band. Initially signed to major label Interscope in 2011, the band parted ways with the company before releasing anything but was quickly snapped up by Warner Brothers, which just put out the Feathers’ self-titled debut.

INFLUENCES: Like KOL, the Feathers fundamentally think of themselves as the offspring of a rich tradition, or, as King puts it: “If Led Zeppelin and The Band had a baby in Joshua Tree.

“We took cues from The Byrds; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and the Eagles,” he says. “We like the way The Rolling Stones played with perfect imperfection and swagger. Or the way [The Band’s] Rick Danko would squeak out a high octave of the melody. We just go with what we think sounds good.”

DOWNLOAD: “The Ceiling,” “Backwoods Company” and “Hard Wind.”