Just as there are many that never seem to go out of fashion, there are some that we can only hope never come in. Whilst lift music can have it’s moments, as can swing bands and the odd balladier, Americana is something so grotesquely bland that it should never be let free with a recording contract. That it has a base of country music from the deep south of America that can so easily be turned into something exciting when in the right hands is probably the most beguiling thing about it all. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, Futurebirds have managed to soak up all that surrounds them but have transformed it into something beautifully ramshackle instead of falling into the pitfalls of many of their contemporaries.
Channeling the decades of developments around them – both good and bad- and putting it through some kind of Ariel Pink inspired filter, the end result is their debut eponymous EP. Put out towards the end of last year through Bandcamp on a pay-what-you-want basis, it’s definitely got the spirit of southern American folk within it, but it’s dressed it up in second hand jeans and a check shirt and got it a decent haircut and a nice pair of shoes. The whole thing seems to be conducted through this glorious haze, as though it’s some kind of weird dream being partially remembered.
At times it does get a bit carried away with the kind country-folk vibe, but there’s more than a das of fleet fox-esque harmony in the mix to equal it out, and it’s a lot more hit than miss. The songs average at about 5 minutes which reflects the way they like to let the songs build, and standout track ‘Megachills’ takes its own precious time before washing over you with an amazing warmth. The 6 tracks can be download for free (or however much you want) from bandcamp, and the sweet moments alone are well worth the effort.
Futurebirds – Megachills
[download ep from bandcamp]