After September 1st, as many ancient, naked trees of the Blue Mountains gradually start to revitalise our landscape with spring’s arrival, the duo known as Future State Band shall welcome the season with the release of their new single, ‘Autumn’.
Due out on September 3rd, the original track marks a new creative chapter for the groups core duo, singer/co-writer Ally Oliver and producer/co-writer
Stuart Cam, after multiple popular performance livestreams, a January single, and the release of April’s ‘thoughtfully produced’, honest debut EP,
Rising Tide. The
foundation of Future State Band’s approach is based on a contrasting meld of pop, trip-hop, and jazz elements, infused with a love of collaboration,
which is highly evident in the single. Crediting her main vocal influences to Florence Welch and Regina Spektor, Ally's voice compliments Stu's brooding
downtempo/electronic production, inspired by his love of Portishead, Massive Attack, and years of DJ'ing in Bristol's drum 'n' bass scene. The strength
and memorability of the group relies on this fascinating pairing, which is sometimes enhanced in live settings by the talents of Jake Doran (Drums),
Ian Garland (Bass), and Jake Coleman (Piano). A warm, dark, and dry atmosphere is conjured in the single, whose lyrical concept was inspired by ‘To
Autumn’ by English Romantic poet John Keats.
After ‘Autumn’ drifts in atop a summery suburban soundscape of birdsong, dogs, and children, Ally delivers soulful, innovative lyrics that describe changing
phases of human experience via the seasons. These changes are naturally reflected in the spectrum of winter’s grim tension to the optimistic hope of
spring. “Changing of the seasons, revealing naked trees” stands out as the most memorable line from the song’s chorus, which distils the overall concept.
“It was important to capture both the beauty and sadness of this idea”, Ally states.
Underpinning it all, we hear a clever conceptual structure of analogue and electronic instruments, created with the hope of mirroring the lyrical details
of these changing phases and seasons. A tonally colder, subdued interlude comprises a middle section, over which Ally delivers these lines, “winter’s
taking hold…I feel it running through my bones…shivers shake me back to life.” This certainly sounds like a relatable feeling for many
Other notable features include jagged electric guitar, pulsing double bass, sizzling cymbals, and Ally’s smooth, high vocals, which are interspersed with
beautifully rich pieces of saxophone playing from Dr Jason Thornton, (former touring player with Yusuf/Cat Stevens and James Taylor). Parts of ‘Autumn’
were captured at Linear Recording with Dorny Mayes, (a producer for Birds Of Tokyo), with later recordings and final mixing occurring independently
at the group’s own Future State Studios in Katoomba.
While ‘Autumn’s vibe is a very calming one, Future State Band emphasise their close attention to aural detail, the richness of their studio techniques,
and their divine collaborative instrumentation to soar past the lazy tag of ‘easy listening’. My mind found it hard to resist the experience that this
song evokes - a seductive sonic journey filled with intoxicating sounds.
Future State Band's music is available on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Tidal, and Deezer.
Words by Corin Shearston