Futurebirds will release Portico I on November 4, with companion Portico II to follow in early 2017
November 2, 2016
Check out the lead single + video filmed at the Portico, a turn of the century church outside of Athens, GA where Futurebirds recorded Portico I & II, at Brooklyn Vegan
Praise for Futurebirds’ past work:
“The Athens-based cosmic country band Futurebirds’ second full-length nails the melancholy of trying to chase and pin down something that’s special and fleeting. It does so with a loose-limbed tangle of reverbed guitars, hollered harmonies, and driving Southern rock rhythms.” – Steven Hyden for Pitchfork
Watch the video for new single “Only Here For Your Love” below.
A year after the release of their latest LP, Hotel Parties — which Relix called “an honest, mature and articulate record .. the band’s most timeless and cohesive release to date,” — Athens, GA’s prolific Futurebirds have emerged with their latest batch of recordings.
On a break from the road in the summer of 2016, and on the hunt for a space to work on pre-production for their upcoming LP, the band stumbled upon a turn of the century baptist church in North High Shoals, GA, about 20 minutes from downtown Athens, called The Portico. The building and grounds, owned by Lee Moody, was a place that immediately resonated with the band, who always try to embody the rich gothic southern tradition in the music they create. There’s a large, very old graveyard surrounding the building, and the Apalachee River meanders down one edge of the 60-acre property. “We were meant to stumble upon this, the universe has laid in front of us the thing we need the most,” thought Thomas Johnson, as he toured the space for the first time.
Sitting on a shelf in the Portico’s library, ever present during the sessions, was a framed, black and white picture of a man in an open coffin, with people crowded all around him, most of them with their hands up and mouths open, as if they’re all raising their hands to God, blessing the poor soul who’s passed. Directly above the man in the coffin is a large man holding a handful of poisonous snakes. The picture is striking on its own, but as the session progressed they began to feel more and more drawn to it. The owner of the property told them the man had died in a snake handling service in Tennessee, and that his family insisted on having a snake handling funeral service for him.
On one hand you could see this as an image of a foolish man, sucked into a dangerous cult by the fervor of its leaders and the thrill of its practices. On the other you see a man shrouded in the intense, unwavering love of family and community, who believed in something so much he was willing to die for it. There is something genuine and inspiring about a belief that strong, about blind faith. About releasing the need to question your actions, your future, trusting that it will come as it will.
Before even recording a single note of music, Thomas knew that this church would be the site of their next project, and that this photo would be the image that defined it.
As they got to work on what was intended to be pre-production for their next LP, the space imbued itself in everything they were doing. They were unplugged and embedded in rural Georgia, surrounded by graves older than the band members’ great-grandparents; the dense, lush woods surrounding, bursting at the seems with life. Still, there always seemed to be a darkness lurking underneath, something mysterious and clandestine. “In every aspect of our experience at the Portico, we did not question,” recalls Thomas, thinking back on the sessions. They followed that feeling, disconnected from the rest of the world, and let the vibes of their surroundings dictate the flow of the session.
The resulting work is a two-part album, aptly titled Portico I & II – which embodies songs on life and love. Cover songs like “From Me To You,” about sending love to a longing lover, or the original “Only Here For Your Love,” about the humble and simple nature of love in its purest forms.
On the work, Johnson states “The songs are a reflection of our own desires and lives, the music a reflection of doing what feels right, and only what feels right, regardless of outside influence or objections. This is our way of taking our music, lives, and futures into our own hands, and what greater cause is there?”
Portico I is set to release on November 4th, 2016 via Easy Sound Recording Company, with Portico II to follow in early 2017.
Photo: David McClister
FUTUREBIRDS ON TOUR:
November 25 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse (w/ New Madrid & Tedo Stone) November 26 – Memphis, TN – 1884 Lounge
November 30 – St. Louis, MO – The Bootleg @ Atomic Cowboy
December 1 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
December 2 – Maquoketa, IA – Codfish Basement
December 3 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Brass Rail
December 4 – Barnesville, OH – Albert S. George Youth Center December 6 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade (NYC)
December 8 – Washington, D.C. – U Street Music Hall December 9 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
December 10 – December 15 – December 16 – December 29 – December 30 – December 31 –
Columbia, SC – Music Farm
Chattanooga, TN – Revelry Room
Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
Charleston, SC – Music Farm (w/ The High Divers) Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle (w/ The High Divers) Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre (w/ The High Divers)
Portico I tracklist:
1. “Only Here For Your Love”
2. “Bad Man” (Caitlyn Harnett cover) 3. “Dodge” (Vic Chesnutt cover) 4. “From Me To You” (Beatles cover)
Copyright © 2016 Riot Act Media, All rights reserved.
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