Not to get all Almost Famous on you, but the closest I have ever come to death was while I was standing on an Athens, Georgia street with the members of Futurebirds. I was there for Athfest, the great music festival, and I had just met the guys in the band. We were watching some very pretty girl sing whose name I forget, and a bolt of lightning struck the building next to us. The top of the building exploded, more or less, sending brick and concrete falling down on the street. I swear to God this happened. I fell flat on my chest, proving once and for all how poorly I would react in a battlefield situation.
When the dust settled, no one was seriously hurt, thank God. I think one of the guys in Futurebirds got hit in the leg with a piece of brick. He carried it around the rest of the day, brandishing it at appropriate moments to show people evidence of this bizarre attack from the heavens. We all went to a bar and got good and drunk, and then the band performed that night, in the rain, to a crowd of good and drunk Athens residents. We were all just happy to be alive.
So, yeah. What am I talking about? Right. Futurebirds have a new album out. It’s called Baba Yaga and it is spectacular. And I’m not just saying that because I nearly died with them.
Lush, dark, haunting, Baba Yaga is the brilliant Southern psych-surf rock album you never knew you wanted. The group has five songwriters, lending an originality and movement across the album, even though all are working in the band’s sound. Think of it like a basketball team with five scorers–all working in the same offense. Or something. (Too much NBA playoffs on TV. Sorry.)
Think My Morning Jacket. Think Drive-By Truckers. Think R.E.M. Think Surfer Blood. It’s all there, in some shape or form, muddled up and wonderful, with Brannen Miles’ steel pedal guitar ranging gorgeously over everything. The album is out on Fat Possum and you can find it on Spotify and iTunes and in record stores. Go. Do it. Listen.
STREAM: Futurebirds – “Heavy Weights”