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Saturday 22 June 2019

The Futureheads: First New Album In Seven Years Made By Four People In It For All The Right Reasons

The Futureheads, who played Concorde 2, Brighton, last month, are set to release Powers, their sixth studio album and their first electric guitar release in almost a decade.  
Credit Andy Sturmey

Recorded and self-produced Powers is a record that looks "at the balance of power in a personal, political and relational sense." 

Having first emerged at the start of the '00s amidst a burgeoning swarm of guitar bands, the Sunderland quartet, with their proud regional accents and spiky, playful sensibilities, stuck out from the off. 

Over the following decade The Futureheads – comprised of vocalists and guitarists Barry Hyde and Ross Millard, vocalist and bassist David 'Jaff' Craig and vocalist and drummer Dave Hyde – amassed five critically-acclaimed albums and headlined countless tours.

Returning with Powers, the band's aim is one of forward motion not nostalgia; though the quartet could probably rely on the successes of old to push them through the next couple of festival seasons, that isn't – and hasn't ever – been the point. 


"Obviously it's an absolute privilege to come back and still have fans and that's something to cherish," says Ross says.

"But I also think we've got a bit of a job to do about letting people know that there's more to this band than you might have thought."

It's a risky statement, but one that's confirmed immediately once you press play. 

Across the album, the band push further, melodically and lyrically, than ever before; there's no safety net here, but a band putting everything out there and driving it to the wire again. 

"I love the thing Bowie said about how an artist should be slightly out of their depth because that's when you get the good stuff," Barry affirms. 

"Or as David Lynch says, 'If you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deep.'"   

The album's propulsive, scattershot lead single Jekyll comes laden with a self-professed "monstrous riff for monstrous, preposterous times", but it's perhaps the stream-of-consciousness, spoken word diatribe of Across the Border that lands the biggest hammer-blow in terms of unapologetic, outraged social commentary. 

"As a band, we were always interested in personal politics and behaviour, but we never spoke about the state of the nation or big picture politics," Ross begins. 

"But in the meantime the world"s changed so much and there are things to really kick against. 

"We live in a region that's somehow or other been tagged as the poster boy for Brexit, and the misinformation and aggression that this referendum has brought out in people has become a really terrifying thing that I haven't seen in my lifetime. 

"It's a defining moment in British politics that"s impossible to ignore if you're making art." 

Powers is a record that sounds invigorated, with something important to say and an idiosyncratic, exciting way of saying it, made by four people here for all the right reasons. 

"There's power and sophistication and simplicity, and it's bloody hard to play, which I think will keep the shows interesting because we're on the edge of our abilities with this," grins Barry. 

"It's musical audacity: that's what this album's about." 

The Futureheads new album 'Power' is out on 30th August 2019. CLICK HERE for more details.

by: Mike Cobley



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