(Autumn Tone is set to release Futurebirds debut full-length, Hampton’s Lullaby, next month. The record is a monster. Below we revisit the EP. Catch it before it’s (hint) taken off bandcamp.)

For whatever reason, or maybe a few specific ones, when I think of Futurebirds, I think of the Violent Femmes intro: “The Violent Femmes, they bring all their equipment on the bus. And you can’t fuck with the Violent Femmes. You cannot fuck with this band.”

In reality, you probably could try to fuck with Futurebirds, they just wouldn’t care. Because they’re affable folk, and their southern dream rock–if there were such a thing–is easier going than it is aggressive. Futurebirds’ just slightly degraded lo-fi submersion and pedal steel trance create a fuzzy, dream-like veneer that cushions a rotating trio of vocal leads, and more than a helping of communal harmonies. Still, it’s doubtful you would fuck with this band, not by appearances. Their cast of characters includes at least one John Bell/Jim James bastard child, one half-Cherokee and Choctaw, and an uncanny Will Oldham doppelganger. And indeed, that is also probably an apt reference to their influence: 21st century Indian outlaw southern indie-rock, eccentric folk. That swings.

And Futurebirds do, in fact, bring all of their equipment on the bus, including a light-projector ready-made for pickup house parties of which they’re certainly regular attendees in their hometown of Athens, Ga. And that probably defines their self-titled EP, released earlier this year, better than anything else. They’re kids. Partiers. Making music with what’s available to them, and doing whatever they can to make it. We described them before as DIY, and it is just as blue-collar, unpretentious and unfettered as that. Their lyrics aren’t overly sophisticated, but they needn’t be either, since they strike at exactly where the band is right now–early adulthood, few responsibilities, multiple questions, making music, hoping it all works out. For someone who’s sitting in a purgatorial age–not that anymore, but not the next thing either–that’s refreshingly optimistic, even if they don’t intend it to be.

Futurebirds (or rather, FUTUREBIRDS, because they “like it up there in all caps”), have been barnstorming in front of their first full-length out on Autumn Tone later this summer. It began with a (very) last-minute entry to SXSW, where they played a handful of shows (including one pickup gig at a house party, lights in tow), and it has continued with stretches along the east coast. The EP probably won’t properly prepare you for their live set if you catch one of those shows–which are decidedly more energetic/nuts–but it is a nice palate whetter for the forthcoming long-player, an appropriate introduction to a band you just can’t fuck with.  words/ j crosby

MP3: Futurebirds :: Dirty D
MP3: Futurebirds :: Megachills
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10 Responses to “Futurebirds :: Dirty D/Megachills”

  1. Great songs!

  2. was at the said sxsw house party – probably the most rip-roaring AUTHENTIC set i saw during sxsw2010
    The LP should put these fellas on the map alright. their EP was in my top 5 last year…excellent songs. glad i got to see them live – few bands can outperform their recorded shiz and they kill it

  3. loved this

  4. A great find! Futurebirds taps right into the truck drivin, finger lickin, t-shirt tannin, air brushin American vein leadin right into the heart of where we can only hope to see southern rock and country music go. Right on Birds, keep truckin.

  5. pure fratboy garbage. hey bra! pour me up a tasty brew and pack me up a fresh nugg! jesus…really?

  6. pure fratboy garbage? richard, who else would you classify as that? would love to check ‘em out. thanks man!

  7. Will you guys actually be at the Athfest kickoff party at the 40 Watt or are you just hosting? Will definitely be attending. Look forward to Athfest every year. Have never seen Roadside Graves live, but have enjoyed their first couple LPs. Futurebirds live are a completely different animal than what you hear on their EP, and they get better every time I see them.

  8. we’ll be there….

  9. i was there and it was dope like a freshly painted cadillac.

  10. […] Hampton’s Lullaby (out July 27th), finds Futurebirds continuing down the path of their self-released EP, tempering some of the noise, sweet enough to make your mama cry.  The band is presently on the […]

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