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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: feeble little horse

feeble little horse is a noise pop band formed in Oakland in 2021. Their emotionally apathetic songs capture the anxiety of crumbling relationships and a global pandemic. The song “modern tourism” is a metaphor for navigating the world of casual relationships and feeling bad about it. feeble little horse recently spoke with Morning Mix host Joey Spehar about their song “modern tourism” and pushing themselves musically.

feeble little horse are:

Sebastian Kinsler – guitar, vocals, production
Jacob Kelley – drums, additional production and percussion
Lydia Slocum – vocals
Ryan Walchonski – guitar, vocals

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

  • (seb) I met Ryan when I joined his old band as a second guitarist. When we found out we write really well as a duo, we stepped back and formed our own project. Jake used to be Ryan’s roommate, and he’d hang out while we wrote and was always super excited to lay down drums for us on this drumset in their living room. I knew Lydia because we made a dumb SoundCloud collab song together, and I asked if she wanted to feature on a feeble little horse track. She came over to the apartment and the very first song we wrote together was “Chores.” It was kind of a holy shit moment. Like, it’s crazy how well  she fits into our creative process. She was a missing puzzle piece. Also, she played the flute in fourth grade. 
  • (lydia) I played the flute in fourth grade which was pretty awesome. I also was in a girls choir from 1st-12th grade.
  • (jake) I have been playing drums for a while, mainly in hard rock bands. However, it wasn’t until Seb and Ryan brought me in that I began to thoroughly enjoy the writing process for drum parts.
  • (ryan) I have played guitar for a long time but not super seriously. I met Jake a few years ago and we started experimenting a bit more.

How do you describe your sound?

  • (seb) We don’t use reverb, we don’t hard pan guitars, and we double track everything.
  • (lydia) It’s like we took our favorite songs and put them in the Sebastian blender. I think the sound is super influenced by the music we like and then what the four of us are each exclusively able to contribute.
  • (jake) noise pop 

What draws you to this type of music?

  • (lydia) I really like texture and combining things that are exciting/create tension to put side by side. 
  • (seb) It’s cool to make cool sounds.
  • ()Ffeels like we’re making music that reflects how we feel about the times we live in.

Tell us more about the song “modern tourism.” What inspired you to write it? 

  • (ryan) For me, the “chorus” instrumental part of the song was inspired by the band Women in their song “Drag Open.” The outro of the song features two guitars playing weird riffs that shouldn’t work together, but come together to form a beautiful sound. That’s what i was hoping for in the chorus. 
  • (seb) We wrote this song during my freshman year of college. The lyrics are mainly about me getting used to how dating works as an adult. I was entering my first casual relationships and constantly second guessing my intentions and just feeling like a piece of shit for it. This song helped me vocalize some of that anxiety, which was nice because I don’t write music therapeutically very often.
  • (jake) This was the first time that Seb and Ryan really encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone while writing a drum part. The groove in the chorus of the song utilizes a tom pattern instead of the ride or hats, which adds a little bit of a different element to the song.
  • (lydia) I was just a feeble little horse fan girl when this was born.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

  • (jake) "Dookie" by Green Day 
  • (seb) For me, it’s probably "Dookie" by Green Day.
  • (ryan) I’d say "American Idiot" by Green Day. 
  • (lydia) The High School Musical 2 soundtrack

What’s the best part about making music in Pittsburgh?

  • (jake) All of the bands we get to play with are very supportive and talented. Also, the energy at the shows just seem special in Pittsburgh. We’re super proud to be in the same area as bands like Silver Car Crash, Gaadge, Care Package, Water Trash, and Merce Lemon.
  • (lydia) Pittsburgh is the coolest place ever. I get to feel like I might die falling backwards driving uphill to our practice space and I use my map everytime.

Any other super interesting things about you we should know?

  • (jake) Ryan was my RA during my freshman year of college.
  • (seb) Ryan likes sleeping on the floor more than in a bed.
  • (lydia) Ryan made me clean his kitchen when we recorded tricks and then slapped me in the face.
  • (ryan) This is all true.

Learn more about feeble little horse:

Apple Music

Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.