Press Play: Futurebirds

Futurebirds have been making music and playing shows across the country for a decade. The indie rock band hails from Athens, Georgia and their southern roots can be heard on every song. Futurebirds align with many colorful labels, some including “cosmic country” and “psych-country.” The band’s neo-psychedelia country-rock fusion has remained in the guitar-driven, alternately dreamy and trippy realm over the course of their discography.

You can always expect something lush and dreamy on a Futurebirds record. Their 2013 breakthrough album Yaga Baba draped country-rock instrumentals in reverb and other studio effects, giving each track a celestial quality. Standout track “Digs” starts out as a standard mid-tempo rock song and evolves into an off-kilter, hypnotic groove before ending in a flurry of guitar-shredding. The LP is full of slow-burners aiming for an idyllic, meditative mood.

Futurebirds’ 2015 album Hotel Parties tackles truths about the always-spinning wheel of longing and the never-ceasing journey toward fulfillment. The title track is a shimmering slow-burner that reflects on the transition between performing on stage to functioning in everyday life. The album’s closing track “Hard as You Like” is a pedal steel driven ballad that would fit snuggly at the beginning of a western.

Five years after Hotel Parties, on January 15th, Futurebirds released their fourth album Teamwork. They took their usual ethereal yet rootsy approach with touches (and occasionally full-blown solos) of sax heard throughout the record.  One single “My Broken Arm” is filled with twangy guitar and a country drawl, with harmonies hollered out in the background and in the chorus. Standout track “Wandering Minds” brings psychy, distorted guitars to the foreground while twangy vocals wail and pedal steel weeps. As the album title implies, this record is a result of camaraderie and collaboration among long-time friends and band members, and that is what makes Teamwork Futurebird’s finest effort yet.