Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The return of Britain's The Futureheads

The Futureheads have announced that Powers, their sixth studio album and first electric guitar release in almost a decade, will be released on Aug. 30. Recorded and self-produced at Newcastle's First Avenue Studio, 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, The Futureheads – vocalists and guitarists Barry Hyde and Ross Millard, vocalist and bassist David 'Jaff' Craig and vocalist and drummer Dave Hyde – released five critically-acclaimed albums, headlined countless tours and earned an NME Single of the Year accolade for their cover of Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love.'

“Obviously it’s an absolute privilege to come back and still have fans and that’s something to cherish,” 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.”

Adds Barry: “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.” Or as David Lynch says, 'If you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deep.'”

"Headcase" and "Animus" find the lead singer addressing problems that put a stop on the band in the first place. “My main thing was about accepting how my mind works and then trying to love that. The danger of mental illness is becoming trapped in something like depression; you can't stay manic for too long, you end up sectioned or probably dead because you become so uncaring about your own safety,” he explains. “I'm not a victim of my own mind anymore; I take responsibility for my mind and my actions, and those two songs speak to that.”

Conversely, "7 Hours, 4 Minutes" is a love song to his partner and young daughter. “We had a home birth, she had a paracetamol and that was it. At midnight her waters broke, and then Nico, my daughter, came at four minutes past seven. That song's a little monument to my first born.”

"Across the Border" delves into social commentary. “As a band, we were always interested in personal politics and behavior, 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.”

One song, "Listen Little Man," was named after a book by controversial therapist Wilhelm Reich. “The record we’ve made is a little off kilter and maybe a little more out of step than you might expect from four lads in their 30s. I think it might surprise people,” says Ross.

Longtime fans will find an invigorated Futureheads. 

“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,” states Barry. “It's musical audacity: that's what this album's about.”

The band have just finished a tour of the UK that included a sold out show at The Garage (London). This summer they will play festivals across the UK and Europe.

Track listing:

1. Jekyll
2. Good Night Out
3. Animus
4. Across The Border
5. Electric Shock
6. Stranger In A New Town
7. Listen, Little Man!
8. Headcase
9. Idle Hands
10. Don't Look Now
11. 0704
12. Mortals

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