Much has changed over the course of three LPs, two EPs, and one live record, yet Athens-based indie rockers Futurebirds keep going. Described by Stereogum as “a meditation on life on the road and the liminal space between performing onstage and trying to relax back into everyday existence afterward,” the band’s new album Hotel Parties is more introspective than their last offering, Baba Yaga, which former label Fat Possum called a “primal, sweat-filled, cosmic rock revival with soaring harmonies.” The record paints a picture of Futurebirds’ changed selves, portraying the range of consequences faced and emotions felt as a result of spending years writing, recording, and earning a reputation as road warriors. Sounding like Dr. Dog took a southbound field trip; Futurebirds take the former’s charming, easy listening sound and add Georgia twang and buoyant rhythms. This tone is achieved with the help of member Dennis Love’s masterful pedal steel guitar playing, which serves as both wallpaper and framed art by filling out bridges and solos throughout the album.
For Futurebirds, touring is a double-edged sword that carries with it feelings of both loneliness and claustrophobia. This idea is expressed through the LP’s title track, which curses most elements of touring except hotel parties – one of the only sources of comfort on the road. Yet there is a theme of resilience amongst the confusion. Though “Rodeo” acknowledges the struggles of touring, it faces them head-on: “we’ve turned our love into a rodeo, but I’ll be damned if I ain’t gonna grab the bull by the horns.” Sonically, the band successfully weaves psychedelia and country on standouts like acid-tinged opener “Paranoid Letters,” all while showing off its knack for immediately relatable and catchy songwriting on the rousing “twentyseven” and “Xmas Drags.”
“It sounds like what could happen if a lap steel player ate a couple of magic mushrooms and zoned out to Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”
– Rolling Stone
“An Athens, GA-based band who have distilled all the best parts of Southern rock into their own slow-burning, glimmering sound.”
Going for Adds 9/28 & 9/29