Album Review: Future Crib—’Friends’
Posted: by The Editor
The glowing sophomore album from Nashville sweethearts Future Crib expands their sonic presence beyond a solid indie-folk act to an endearingly experimental rock and roll collective. The singles from the record, “Friends!” and “Yer Movin’” had the same classic jam-out vibe that became signature to the group’s debut LP. But the most noteworthy part of the album is how the group manages to bend the expectations of what’s coming from track to track, while still maintaining steady cohesion. A certain softness bleeds through on each song in a way that enables you to float, caught up in the endless possibilities of each moment.
One thing Future Crib has mastered is their knack for embracing a groove-worthy tempo change. The first track “Yer Movin’” is explosive, feeling like an energy boost that’s been simmering for ages. Vocalist Johnny Hopson croons through gritty lows and falsetto highs with a sincerity that makes lines like “I’m taking a break from destructive behavior / ‘Cuz I know what I’ve gotta do” feel personalized to your own situation. It’s a common theme for the tracks that Hopson fronts vocals on—a notion of sincerity and trustworthiness peeks through the clarity of their tone, and lends a hand to the communal feeling of their sound.
But Hopson isn’t the only vocal talent in the outfit. Friends sees them stepping back from the spotlight to make way for bandmates Noah Pope and Julia Anderson to lead the way. Paired against a staccato, poppy time signature, Pope’s “Astronaut” softens the record’s tone with his sweet, groovy love song that’s been tumbling around in my head since I saw it live at SXSW. The song takes elements of jam bands and electric riffs and bundles them together with precision and bounce.
The almost lullaby-like melody of “Lemon Cakes” reinforces the most impressive aspect of future crib, their genre-bending flow. Backed by shakers and a sweetly picked acoustic guitar, Anderson’s vocals make for a special moment of breathing room on a record that, even on its less intense tracks, keeps you racking your brain for the possibilities of what might come next. Sending that message home, the second half of the album twists from a fuzzy kicker in “Afraid” to a fairy-tale-like floater in “The Tetons”.
Although there’s diversity across the album, it doesn’t take away from the cohesive charm that rolls from the first rock n roll drum beat to the The 1975-esque synth exploration that closes out the last track “Untitled”. The album is a journey of growth, of exploration, and of embracing the power that comes with letting your mind wander. It holds a special sector of your brain’s attention—the one that isn’t afraid of jumping without a place to land. Future Crib is a signal of where the future of rock music is heading, and we should be cheering for it.
Olivia Keasling | @residentkilljoy
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