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The Big Pink
Having toyed with the idea of “making noise” together for a few years, it turned out that when close friends Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze finally did so, they had the makings of something special. Their infectious debut single, “Too Young To Love” (2008), created an early hype that heralded the beginning of a whirlwind period. With two more limited singles being pressed in quick succession, and them receiving both the Radar award at the NME Awards and being named in the coveted BBC “Sound Of” poll, they were in big demand.
Signing to 4AD, they were a perfect fit on the resurgent label’s roster offering a fresh take on the classic “4AD sound”, they headed to the famed Electric Lady studios in New York in the early summer months of 2009 to record their debut album, A Brief History of Love. The final results were eleven stunning tracks set within a sound world that combined melody and abstract noise in a manner redolent of their eclectic musical backgrounds.
In support of the record, the band performed across the world, with their live set-up taking various forms along the way. In the latter half of 2010, with the touring having reached its natural conclusion, Milo and Robbie retreated to their East London studio. For the first time since their early days, they were back to being a duo and although proud of their debut album, felt the next record should be made in it’s own time. It was an approach that worked. By giving themselves space and showing patience, they return reinvigorated with an extremely strong follow-up album in Future This.
Named after a slogan from a 1980s skateboard advert that struck a chord with Milo at a young age, Future This as a title seems apt. Taking their cue from hip-hop and electronic music producers they admire, album two started out with them simply making beats and playing with samples. So successful were these experiments, each track’s genesis can be traced back to them, even allowing live drums on the record to be ditched altogether and for guitars to come into play much later in the song writing stage than in previous recording sessions.
Staying in London this time, they called upon Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence & The Machine, Plan B) to help record it, someone who they felt understood exactly what they wanted to achieve. The mixing stage was handed over to Alan Moulder who, having performed the same duty for the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and many more, they knew they were in very good hands with.
Running in at ten tracks in 45 minutes, Future This commands your attention throughout. Opening with its first single,‘Stay Gold’, a track written about doing what makes you happy, so immediate you could be forgiven for thinking they’ve not been away. From there, the album is paced perfectly, with future live anthems (“Rubbernecking”, “1313”, “Jump Music”), counterbalanced with a set of songs that show a more subtle side (“Hit The Ground (Superman)”, “Give It Up” and title track “Future This”). Each song has its own message, mostly positive, and help highlight Robbie’s progress as both a lyricist and singer. By the time you reach album closer – the mournful “77” – it’s already demanding repeat visits.
With graffiti a recurrent theme, the band wanted the finishing touches to Future This to lie with the celebrated artist KR (the man behind Krink), who by using his distinct paint style to ‘krink’ the album’s sleeve and give them a fresh update on the legacy of 4AD record design.
Future This sounds like an album they’ve enjoyed making; showing they still have a hunger, are still delivering on that early promise and are always looking forward.
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