Frenchkiss Records · September 14, 2018
The album is far from reinventing the wheel, but is still a well-polished listen that’ll go down easy.
I tried making music with my roommates exactly one time. We were all pretty decent musicians, and we certainly had the intentions to make something meaningful. But over the course of a couple hours and a questionable amount of booze, what resulted was a campy little ditty best described as “chipmunk disco” that had at least one backwards message endorsing Satan. We never finished that song, but even if we did, none of us were willing to credit ourselves on it.
The point is, just because you live with talented people doesn’t mean your apartment will be the next Brill Building. Sometimes, your collective talents lead to weird disco Devil songs. Brooklyn’s own Future Generations, meanwhile, seem to have a lot better luck living, playing, and touring together. The indie-pop quintet split songwriting duties like they split washing dishes, and so far, they’ve already gotten some decent results: The sparkly piano bop ‘Stars,’ from their self-titled 2016 debut, is currently just shy of 11 million streams on Spotify. That’s definitely one way to help with rent. Now, the band has put out Landscape, their summer-y sophomore effort that dropped right when summer ended, but nevertheless still has plenty of warm, upbeat earworms for any remaining days in the sun. The album is far from reinventing the wheel, but is still a well-polished listen that’ll go down easy.
The opening swell in intro track ‘Stranger,’ with its airy synths and shotgun sampler snares, tells you pretty much everything you need to know about where this record’s going to go. This album is all about bubbly, well-textured, dreamy love songs that are equal parts hipster millennial and 80s nostalgia. In other words, it’s your typical 2010’s indie-pop record, meaning if that’s never been your jam, you best keep moving. If that is your type of music, then you’ll probably find a good helping of tracks to add to your “indie chill” playlists. Title-track ‘Landscape’ reels you in with an unexpected Motown drum beat and a chorus that is what all good pop choruses should be: easy to learn, easy to sing along to, and easy to get stuck in your head. ‘All the Same’ serves as the record’s quick-and-catchy lead single, with chirping synths and jangly guitars meshing together to make a bright, reverb-y soundscape, giving the dynamic space for vocalist Eddie Gore to go back and forth between soft tenderness and exciting intensity. Both ‘Out Loud’ and ‘Take Me There’ keep things mid-tempo and groovy thanks to their slightly more minimal beats, giving the listener a little breathing room after the record’s first half of big, swelling walls of sound.
Overall, Landscape proves to be a good, fun record that shows how much these roomies enjoy making music together. If there was anything to gripe about, it’s that it definitely isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, and especially by the last couple tracks, all the keyboards, drum samples, and hooks start blending into each other. In other words (and because I’m a snarky music writer who can’t resist a good zinger), the album’s greatest fault is that it’s “All The Same” after a certain point. Granted, that doesn’t make the record bad for me personally – these are breezy, easy-going indie pop songs whose reason for existing is to be breezy and easy-going, so job well done in that respect. It may not be a record meant to digest in one sitting, but sprinkle these tracks in a playlist or two, and good vibes should be waiting.