Future Lives “Spirit House”

Soft Magic Records, 2021

Disappointing second album from a group that has the potential to stand out from the crowd.

Artwork for Future Lives album "Spirit House"Future Lives’ second album, ‘Spirit House’, is, in their own words, a critique of the Western power structures that must upset the spirits: the greed, the bigotry and the corruption. But it is also perhaps more importantly about being saved by love. Whilst the album has moments of nice touches, it fails to do anything to make the group stand out in the Americana scene.

The album starts well with the fun opening song ‘Huckabee’. Its cheery nature gets you settled into how the record is going to feel overall. However, the drums are quite dominating and don’t really do anything interesting. It’s hard actually to not focus on them while you listen simply due to their loudness. Luckily, they are less apparent on the rest of the album.

Brother of Mine‘ is another song that has great potential. The intro sets it up for great heights, but what follows is a mundane track that definitely doesn’t show off the excellent harmonies you would usually associate with Future Lives. Despite this, the orchestral feel with the strings is an extremely nice touch.

Homebound‘ builds on the positive elements of ‘Brother of Mine‘ and continues to use the strings to great effect. The strings create wonderful ambience and the song is much more of what Future Lives are about. The close-knit harmonies are a lot more ambitious and work brilliantly.

Up Against It‘ is similarly a good song, with the orchestral pop vibes creating a unique sound when mixed with the iconic Americana vocals and guitar. It is also clever how it flows straight into ‘The Weight Of An Endless Morning‘, a much slower track. The ability to do both fast and slow songs well is harder than it sounds, but Future Lives’ achieve this well, with the songs’ juxtaposition creating a lovely contrast.

Overall, the album is good but nothing that will revolutionise the Americana scene. Despite this, ‘Run, My Love‘, the final song, is a brilliant track with great sections of build-up followed by powerful vocals. With the ending of an album that is so grand and powerful, it is definitely worth a listen.

6/10
6/10

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