From the opening strains of “Kazakhstan,” Future Lives‘ forthcoming Mansions will hook you, awash as it is in sumptuous melodies and Americana hooks. It’s no surprise, given the band features among its members Brandon Taj Hanick (King of Prussia) singing and playing guitar, along with Mike Mills and Drive-By Truckers’ pedal steel player John Neff. It’s unhurried, but by no means sedative: think of Mansions as the album you put on when you’ve finally cleared the party of people you invited because you had to, and you start breaking out the good beer from the fridge in the basement. Future Lives make music for solid evening hangs.
After making records for years with the various iterations of King of Prussia, I decided it was time for something new. So I changed the name to Future Lives, started playing with different musicians, recorded in new ways and moved from Indie Rock toward Cali Country. I’ve always given nods to the twangy songs played by bands I love like Buffalo Springfield, Beachwood Sparks, Ween and The Rolling Stones, but Mansions is the first time I’ve made an entire album in that vein.
The songs deal with the quest for spiritual enlightenment, fucked up things from our past, beautiful people who died too young and the shivery nature of a society built on consumption. But all of those themes are folded into one long love letter to my wife, the awesome person navigating all of those things with me. It’s the only truly happy record I’ve ever written.
Mansions is out on June 27 on vinyl and digital from Soft Magic Records.
July 6 — Athens, Ga., Future Life (solo) @ Flicker w/ Annie Merkley, Jim Wilson, 8-Track Gorilla
July 9 — Richmond, Va. @ The Camel w/ Blue Sky Disaster, The Cyrenaics
July 10 — Arlington, Va. @ Galaxy Hut w/ Collider
July 11 — NYC @ The Bowery Electric w/ Myriaid
July 12 — Brooklyn @ Gold Sounds
July 13 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Pharmacy w/ Ross Bellenoit, Port Arthur, Spot Collins
July 14 — Harrisonburg, Va. @ The Golden Pony w/ Oil Derek
July 15 — Charlotte, N.C. @ The Evening Muse w/ The Big Lonesome, The Highbeams
July 19 — New Orleans, La., Future Life (solo) @ Siberia w/ Guts Club, Rudy Stone
July 22 — Austin, Tx., Future Life (solo) @ Track House w/ Sun Riah*
Aug. 1 — San Francisco, Calif., Future Life (solo) @ The Lost Church w/ Josiah Johnson, Chelsea Coleman and Maya Hall
Photo by Kristen Hydeck