The blog world is one of the noisiest environments you can imagine. With everyone shouting all at once, it’s like trying to get noticed across the room in an Ibizan super club – no easy thing. One method for bands to get to the front of the queue is to get referred to us by a fellow music blogger. We don’t just mean by them posting it upon their respective blogs, we mean real referrals, where they actually approach us and directly suggest we listen to a band they’ve uncovered. It’s something we’ve experienced a few times and it’s always a winning way to get our attention. If a trusted source points someone out, then we’re highly likely to listen straight away. It’s about trust. It’s about a network. It’s about knowing they wouldn’t waste your time. It’s like everything in life, when someone you know understands you and they make a suggestion then you’re more likely to take the time to investigate it. Well, today’s Recommendation is one of those referrals, and it’s a absolute fucking diamond.
E.J. Friedman is known as the man behind the established US music blog, Loudersoft, from Memphis, Tennessee. He recently got in touch, as he’s now on board as the manager for a new duo from Nashville, called Future Unlimited. He’s in a prime position to help launch their careers, particularly with the first stages of the duo’s all important hype and industry traction – which most artists usually obtain online. He reached out a few weeks ago giving us a secret snippet of what the duo can offer, demanding that we keep it under wraps until things were ready for the full online onslaught. We duly obliged and upon hearing them we too immediately fell in love. You can see why EJ was frothing at the mouth with excitement, this is a duo with a global appeal, particularly in the UK and Australian markets. They’re trusting EJ to utilise his relationships in order to fuel the buzz, and it seems he’s been having to hold on tight as soon as the rumours began to spill out. Fortunately for us The Recommender was considered as the right place to have the UK debut outing, alongside Consequence Of Sound, who should have the US exclusive on this same day. He apparently also had a few (much) larger sites knocking on the door for this, so that gives you some perspective regarding the excitement already surrounding this pair, but he kindly stayed true to his promise to us.
And so to the duo. Pretty much zero seems to exist online about them before today, as they build up to the launch of their first songs, via a project they appropriately named the Cloak & Dagger EP, which is planned for a release on February 29th. They’ve deliberately held any specific details back in order to splash as loudly as possible when ready. As we speak, some tunes on the EP are still being mastered, but we have at least two ready and on show for you below. One half of the band, David Miller, relocated from New York’s East Village to Nashville, where he moved next door to up and coming Nashville DJ, Samuel D’Amelio. In a rather endearing chance meeting the two of them first bumped into each other during a noise complaint between neighbours, something that we’re pretty sure won’t be happening when the pair eventually take this show on the road together, as they find neighbours more likely to ask for it to be turned it up, not down. They combined over a love of the mainly-British 1980s futurist synth pioneers, such as Depeche Mode or Gary Numan. As their band name suggests, they seem to reflect a period in cultural history when aiming high was the order of the day, when winning was what mattered, when only fools talked of limits.
As you would imagine their music is heavily synthetic, reminding us of the UK band, Mirrors, with the same stern, perfectly placed keys that echo off the walls throughout each tune. The first track, Golden, struts confidently into the neon room, like the good-looking kid gliding into the club. The whole thing pulses wonderfully, like street lights as you race down the empty city highway. It has bags of style, never dropping its pace, even though the vocals lift in and out of focus. It has strains of Heaven 17 and The Human League, with a similar urban feel more akin to the towers of New York than the Country music synonymous with Nashville. This is non-more apparent than in the tune, Easy Ways, which also shares the softly-delivered, blinding euphoria that we once saw with Canada’s awesome trio, Young Empires. We’ve had the fortune to hear four tunes to date, all of which are consistently bright, but When It Calls shows us perhaps their finest cinematic skills. Overall, the early signs show us a duo who’s lasers are set to stun. They seem in good hands with EJ and the SXSW event should see them make a live appearance. If blog hype earns them nothing more, it should at the very least make that gig a packed house in what is always a very competitive and busy Austin festival, but as EJ’s referral has shown they’re already masters of being heard in the noisiest of environments. (MB)
FUTURE UNLIMITED – WHEN IT CALLS
FUTURE UNLIMITED – GOLDEN