Album Review: Landscape // Future Generations
Future Generations are an indie band based in Brooklyn who write catchy indie rock songs with big hooks. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2016, with songs reminiscent of Phoenix and Animal Collective showing off their potential. These songs focused on strong melodies with an emphasis on emotional intensity. The band will release sophomore album ‘Landscape’ on 14th September. The album was produced by Justin Gerrish who has previously worked with Vampire Weekend. Can the band increase the intensity and atmosphere on ‘Landscape’?
It is evident after a few listens that ‘Landscape’ is more synth driven with a hell of a lot more hooks. On recent single ‘Out Loud’, the distorted vocoder-like effect on the vocals works very well with the huge synths. The futuristic sounds of ‘All the Same’ overlap beautifully, making it one of the highlights of the album. The infectious vocal melody is incredibly well written, adding to the huge sound.
In comparison to their debut, the songwriting is much better on ‘Landscape’, in particular on the aforementioned ‘Out Loud’ and ‘Suddenly’. It is the first album where the band has a full line up, and the chemistry shows. ‘Take You There’ has a retro feel inspired by the 1980’s, but it’s strengthened by atmospheric production and a lovely chorus. However despite the confidence on the uptempo tracks, the slower songs such as ‘Caught Me By Surprise’ and ‘I Never Knew I Was Lonely’ dampen the enthusiasm. Both tracks incorporate big production but the synths are executed poorly, and the vocals lack passion.
‘I Never Knew I Was Lonely’ features a sweeping bassline but the instrumentation feels sloppy, chaotic, and confused. The final track ‘Incomplete’ is tender, the minimalistic production makes for a calming, relaxed end to the album.
‘Landscape’ is an album that has its moments. It demonstrates a band who have become more confident with their songwriting, and despite a few missteps that let it down, is a solid record that should serve as a welcome introduction to Future Generations.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos