True to its name, Horse Thief was born in wide-open spaces. Hailing from Denton, frontman Cameron Neal moved to Oklahoma City to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music. There the group came together, and an impromptu trip to tiny Creede, Colorado–with its nearby Horse Thief hiking trail–led to the band name. The lure of the West pulled them further to L.A., where Horse Thief worked with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver) on their debut album.
The result of those recording sessions is Fear In Bliss, a striking record that pulls from a wide palette. There’s a definite Americana element, but its spiked with a psychedelic atmosphere. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Horse Thief share the same management company as fellow Oklahomans the Flaming Lips. There’s a Lips-like color to many of Horse Thief’s best songs, like the standout “Devil.” Over chiming guitars and a driving rhythm, Neal and his cohorts push the song into a bold direction. “Yes, we’re gonna die,” goes the refrain, but in the hands of Horse Thief, it sounds positively uplifting.