We caught Futurebirds on our last day of SxSW 2010 at an outdoor stage in a gravel parking lot with temps hovering at 34 degrees. The Athens six-piece took the stage with humble character and complete sincerity, then turned on a set that had them leaping from the stage, rocking off their prescription glasses and trucker hats.
Futurebirds’ have already earned an early foundation of devotees by delivering their debut EP as a free download. They’re now ready to release their debut full-length, Hampton’s Lullaby, on July 13th. Over the weeks I’ve spent with the advanced copy, the album has gone from good to spectacular. ‚ It’s an album for outdoor keggers. For high-fives around campfires. For distance-spitting chewing tobacco. For deep-frying your food. For arm wrestling on bales of hay. For growing a thick beard with a trimming boycott.
Songs feature 4-part harmonies and pedal steel soaring over mandolin, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars in an array of songs that call on several genres to create its own brand of Country-Grunge.‚ As I listen to the album, I hear shades of My Morning Jacket, Uncle Tupelo, The Rolling Stones, Dinosaur Jr, and early Kings of Leon. Notable tracks include Johnny Utah, APO, Sam Jones, Battle For Rome, and Ski Chalet.
We had the band in studio for a HearYa Live Session that’ll be released in the coming days/weeks and Hampton’s Lulluby is out next Tuesday. Until then, I recommend downloading the free EP and soak in a live show if they pass through your neck of the woods. They’ll earn every penny of your admission.
Video: Futurebirds – Sam Jones (live at Southpaw in Brooklyn)
Video: Futurebirds – Hampton’s Lullaby (live at Waterloo Underpass,‚ SxSW 2010)