The Feverfew
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The Feverfew

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Band Folk Acoustic

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Press


A rainy, raw weeknight at the end of a long holiday is hardly a recipe for a good turnout for live music, but a surprisingly decent crowd was on hand at the Warehouse Next Door to see promising indie-folk band the Feverfew on Monday. "Apparitions," the Brooklyn-based act's debut album, was recorded as a duo, but singer-guitarist Bethany Spiers went it alone during the too-brief set, mixing new songs with the delicate melodies that made the Feverfew's lone recording a haunting pleasure. "I've been writing all these weird country songs lately," Spiers said as introduction for a song that "nobody's ever heard before," but aside from a passing reference to Bakersfield, it was simply another of her tightly drawn dream-folk creations. When Spiers sang other songs, such as "The Night the Whole World Caught on Fire," she sounded nothing like Buck Owens but did strongly summon the spirit of Cat Power's Chan Marshall. With a confessional whisper, she made lines like "Now there's nothing left of you -- a tired ghost in hospital perfume" (from "Last Call") crackle with spooky static just as Marshall might. But Spiers's diaphanous acoustic guitar lines and writerly lyrical turns -- she studied creative writing at Pratt -- were entirely her own. There was a cover of Loudon Wainwright III's ("by way of Rufus," Spiers added) "One Man Guy," but it was Spiers's own compositions that were memorable, songs whose phantasmal sheen matched the night's drizzly backdrop. -- Patrick Foster, The Washington Post, Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - The Washington Post


The Feverfew's album, Apparitions (Eyeball), has a snowy-morning feel, brightened by Bethany Spiers's softly unassuming voice and delicate guitar work. -- Time Out New York 498, April 14-20, 2005 - Time Out New York


An aptly titled album dealing with ghosts of dead dreams and defunct relationships, Apparitions haunts with its gorgeous guitars and striking images, before it vanishes like a specter slinking into shadows. Bethany Spiers' wispy vocals float appealingly into the air before evaporating, leaving behind faint echoes and poetic lyrics that stand up to scrutiny. Her songs are ethereal yet ephemeral, burning lovely and leaving inscrutable ash. When Apparitions ends, listeners might feel dazed, as if they just awoke from a fantastic dream without being able to recall any details. -- Andrew Miller, Alternative Press Issue 200, March 2005 - Alternative Press


NYC's The Feverfew concluded a long West Coast swing with a stop at Tangier. Lovely. Azure Ray and Cat Power fans should be crying right about now if you missed this tour. Go pick up their new album Apparitions. -- LA Underground, 5/24/05 - LA Underground


It's not surprising to see Bethany Spiers, leader of this duo, cite Cat Power as an influence; they seem to have a similar quavering vocal tone that accents the secret-sharing quality in their breathy singing. Also recalled at times are the tightly condensed yet controversial-seeming lyrics on Suzanne Vega's first album and Iron and Wine's melodic sense and rivetingly intimate, largely acoustic arrangements and guitar style (especially on the instrumental "Perfect Ugly Amateur" but also for the structure and contours of "The Gift"). A significant debut by an artist I'm already telling all my friends about. -- Steve Holtje, The Big Take-Over 56 - The Big Take-Over


With an overwhelming pile of awful singer-songwriters out there, this is a breath of fresh air. The Feverfew is Bethany Spiers with a few others pitching in. Her voice reminds me a lot of Mirah. After reading the lyrics, I'm not surprised that she was a creative writing major in college. Top notch. Musically it's melodic and gentle, the perfect thing to play while staring out the window on a dark and rainy Saturday afternoon. It's rare that a release comes to me anonymously and completely blows me away, but Apparitions achieves that. -- Dan Agacki, Punk Planet 67, May/June 2005
- Punk Planet


As captivating as her voice is, “Apparitions” makes clear that Spiers is not just a singer. In fact, her voice may be secondary to her lyrics. What’s particularly interesting is that Spiers’ songs aren’t all self-focused; many of them delve into elaborate, captivating narratives. Standout track “Selby” was inspired by the retelling of serial-killer Aileen Wournos’s relationship with her lover “Selby” in “Monster.” Though the song isn’t a direct re-telling, it does vividly describe two desperate lovers who run into some trouble. This sort of entrancing story keeps “Apparitions” fresh. -- Casey Parks, Jackson Free Press, June 29, 2005 - Jackson Free Press


What really stands out and tugs at the heartstrings is the way pseudo-solo performer/songwriter Bethany Spiers uses her image-stories to place listeners in the center of tangible moments of developing sentiment. During her finest moments on Apparitions, Spiers embraces some of the finer lynchpins while avoiding the trappings of the singer/songwriter “genre,” crafting songs that are trembling but direct and emotive but alarmingly accessible to passing ears. There’s a surprising sense of urgency and even empathy that she lends to passing moments of human interaction, whether it’s a couple meeting after one of them misses a bus (“Selby”) or a bunch of angry men throwing caution to the wind at an off-track betting club (“Last Call”). Spiers’ voice is what seals the deal. -- Justin Vellucci, Delusions Of Adequacy, 1/17/05 - Delusions of Adequacy


When the new album from Eyeball Records new female singer-songwriter hit my mailbox a few weeks back my eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. With the holidays and wintry weather fast approaching, Bethany Spiers (ex Sleep Station) has assembled a collection of nine songs that are as sunny and hopeful as they are cold and bleak. Keeping a fairly typical instrumentation of Spiers' beautiful vocals and her trusty acoustic guitar, she blends equal parts Red House Painters and Lisa Loeb on her confessional (tee hee) debut. Lyrically captivating and just plain pretty, the debut from The Feverfew continues the string of amazing releases from the Eyeball camp. Keep an eye out for this girl, she's going places. -- Matt DiStefano, Rocking the Scene, 12/14/04 - Rocking the Scene


I'm not typically a "singer-songwriter" fan. I'm just not. But every once in a while, a singer-songwriter strikes me as something a little different. When Philadelphia native Bethany Spiers sets up as The Feverfew, she strikes a chord. Some may argue otherwise, but I am inclined to believe that perhaps there is never enough "pretty" music in the world, and The Feverfew does "pretty" very well. Sweet, haunting vocals, vivid lyrics, and a sound, casual guitar track combine to make you want to pop the CD in and go for a drive in the country with the windows down. -- Scenestars, 4/14/05 - Scenestars


Discography

"Apparitions" LP released October 24th, 2004 on Eyeball Records. The single, "Goodbye, Blue Monday," released to radio concurrently.

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Bio

"The Feverfew has a sound born in the South and dragged up through the East, landed somewhere between a Brooklyn rooftop and the sea..." Begun as a moniker for her solo outing in 2003, Bethany Spiers has been writing and performing for over a decade. Her first album, "Apparitions," was released on Eyeball Records in 2004, and she has since embarked on seven completely self-booked national tours, playing everywhere from hardcore and punk shows in basements and bars, to singer-songwriter circles in quiet coffeehouses and indie rock clubs. Drawing comparisons to Cat Power, Ida and Jolie Holland, The Feverfew has attracted fans of indie rock, pop and folk alike. Look for the new album, "The Owl & the Mirror," in 2008.