It hasn’t hit Feeble Little Horse yet that they’re sort of a big deal. Even after applause from The New York Times and their liaisons with some of the biggest labels in the game, the Pittsburgh-based quartet come across as soft-spoken and slightly sheepish. After all, this is the same band that told me last March they were “a little shy when it comes to interviews.” However, following the re-release of their album, Hayday in October via Saddle Creek, they’ve stumbled smack dab into the spotlight.
For a lot of bands, Feeble Little Horses’ career trajectory reads like a dream: going from playing beer-filled basement shows to being scouted by someone from arguably one of the most well-respected indie rock labels. For those other bands, a record deal would be a no-brainer, an automatic yes. They would simply ask where to sign. Feeble Little Horse, on the other hand, was skeptical from the start. With guitarist Ryan Walchonski moving to DC after graduation and the other members still in school or working, the band’s future was completely up in the air.
“The whole thing [Feeble Little Horse] felt kind of spur of the moment and lucky,” says Walchonski. “For me, it was like, it sucks this couldn’t have happened earlier, because this is probably going to be the end, but at least we did this album.”
It was only after someone from Saddle Creek came to their Brooklyn show with Horse Jumper of Love at Baby’s All Right in May that they began seriously considering going the label route. Self-described control freaks, they were wary of the music business in general, let alone the implications of signing with some of the other labels that were approaching them with offers.
“We were in the car, and Ryan was like, do you guys want to be famous or not? I was like, I want to be famous, I want to be a pop star,” Lydia Slocum recalls. “So I was like yeah, we can do it, I’ll do a label.”
The quartet was reassured by the creative freedom Saddle Creek promised, and the fact that Philadelphia experimental four-piece Palm, one of their favorite bands, recently joined the roster. They shook on it at a sandwich shop (or an Indian place; they couldn’t quite remember) while in Philly. The band had been planning to re-release Hayday through their record label, Unstable, so when the idea of making it their Saddle Creek debut was broached they were automatically on board.