Justin Ringle is a nice guy. As the lead singer/ songwriter for Portland, Oregon’s Horse Feathers, we are impressed not only with his general niceness, but with his delicate vocals, lush instrumentation, and sense of beauty on “Thistled Spring.” Speaking of instruments, his band, which consists of Nathan Crockett, Sam Cooper, and Catherine Odell must have a couple buses of instruments between the three of them (that’s Crockett bowing a saw in the yellow shirt). It’s their collective talent that crafts a kind of folk that’s so gorgeous, it’s an occasion in and of itself to sit down and listen to it. “Starving Robins” and “Belly of June” are only a couple tracks that capture our imagination with an acoustic explosion of that startles and tingles the senses, and any fan of Iron and Wine’s acoustic material will find an equal in Ringle’s songwriting and performance here. Heck, any fan of good music should be able to put this in and think of a couple people they’d like to share this one with. Here’s to a strong 2011, guys (and gal).