New from London-based producer and songwriter: Joseph Futak comes a furtive yet grandiose pair of songs: ‘Bank Robber’ and ‘This Morning’.
This release marks a return of sorts for Futak, who has spent the past year behind the microphone rather than in front of it. His work can be heard on the last Tapir! EP, on which he helped produce the quirky and makeshift sound that made that record so enjoyable. The aspects I enjoyed most from that release transpose themselves here.
For one, there’s a depth to the sound of both songs that seems unadorned and moving at the same time, with Futak’s low, hushed voice never overselling the collective mood. Take ‘Bank Robber’, with lyrics that explore uneasiness in self confidence through the image of a criminal on the run, played completely straight and earnestly. It’s a fantastic metaphor, and I find most of the joy from this kind of honest songwriting in the creatives ways the artists paint their own struggles.
With this in mind, we move onto ‘This Morning’, which features a slow pulsating, crashing and echoing instrumental that is orchestral and dynamic. It is important to note that these tracks were recorded live-to-tape, which speaks to clear sense of direction Futak has for his sound. The layered melodies and refrains played across all kinds of instruments seem free flowing and organic, but never overly complex.
It is really amazing to hear a sound that balances simplicity with ambition so neatly.
Both of these songs are devoid of pretentiousness and come from a place of honesty that doesn’t make for boring or divertive listening. I think this is commendable in itself, and is owed to Futak’s experience in writing both for himself and for others over a long songwriting career.
I see Futak as the kind of artist who can inform the listener on his own issues and experiences without melodrama or cliché, and that’s the reason I see so much potential in him. He has spent some time dialling back, growing his abilities and developing his sound, and now is time for his return to form.
These songs are solid, well made and have enough depth in the lyrics and instrumental to have some real staying power. He as an artist has the ability to craft a strong narrative metaphor, and I commend him for it. Needless to say, whatever he’s releasing next; I’m engaged in and ready to listen.
‘Bank Robber’ and ‘This Morning’ are out now via My Life Is Big.