The Excellence Of Nashville’s Future Crib Is “Most Likely Never Going To Die”

Perhaps the best music-makers are the ones whose works are illuminated with sublimity. The human experience is a mighty and nearly incomprehensible thing in total—but by breaking it down into digestible slices or, better yet, shedding light onto some inarticulable experience within it, music itself can do a better job than any words ever could in terms of conveying the beauty.

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Whether it’s transporting you to some hazy memory from your salad days or providing an emotional almanac for the ups and downs of living, when those special songs come around, it’s a magic phenomenon. Maybe something like The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” is a good example—not overly explicit, its lyrical imagery and inventive arrangement captured the spirit of the rapidly changing world of the late-’60s. 

Or, to consider a more modern example—err, very modern example—we can look at the new single from indie-rock band Future Crib: “Most Likely Never Going To Die,” which dropped June 29. Coming alongside the announcement of Future Crib’s new album, Full Time Smile—due September 10—the single is a catchy, nostalgic-sounding indie-rock bop that effortlessly expresses the euphoria of youthful love in modern times. 

Yet, the impressive emotive display of “Most Likely Never Going To Die” is no outlier for Future Crib—since singer-songwriter Johnny Hopson launched the group in 2017, they’ve devoted themselves to the sheer joy and camaraderie of playing music together, authentically documenting the ebbs and flows of their lives along the way.

Now, the band’s five members—Hopson, Julia Anderson, Bryce DuBray, Noah Pope and George Rezek—have merely kicked this process into overdrive. Unable to see each other for the better part of 2020 due to the pandemic, last winter, the five hunkered down in a guest house in North Georgia. There, over the course of just seven days, they brought Full Time Smile to life. 

“We brought two vans down here with all of our stuff, moved the furniture out, put our big console on the island and set up shop in the kitchen,” Hopson said. “We had all sorts of drums and keyboards and pieces of gear all over—it was super, super fun. We got to just live together for a week and crank it out. It was one of the best weeks ever.”

As simple as the joy sounds—a week alone to work on a record with your friends—it was a profound one for Future Crib. See, based in Nashville, the band is still young and most of its members just recently graduated college. As a result, the songs on Full Time Smile—perhaps most prominently “Most Likely Never Going To Die”—speak to that defining moment in life, the time when you’re still figuring out who you are. How do you love people? How do you handle loss? How do you handle change? Who do you want to be? A poetic grappling with these questions is palpable on Future Crib’s work.

“A lot of the songs are products of the moment—of us all being there, together, feeling all kinds of emotions at the same time,” Anderson said. “It all felt so raw and special. There was something about all being hunkered down in the same space. We don’t think the songs would’ve come out the way they did if we didn’t decide to just go somewhere out of town and only focus on doing that one thing.”

With absolute trust in each other and a commitment to their craft, Future Crib endowed their songs with that special, aforementioned quality of depth. But for their part, they reveal that it was really just a mere by-product of their natural process.

“We’ve gotten a lot of comments about Future Crib having its own distinct vibe, like we create a unique energy or something,” DuBray said. “That’s interesting because I don’t think we’re trying to do that. It’s just a product of us being comfortable with each other, and then letting things happen naturally. We think really hard and care a lot about where we want it to go, but then we let it follow wherever five people making music in a room take it. It’s nice to have those contributions be live and free, then we can narrow down from there. For this record, things were just happening and it created an energy because we were willing to let it take its own reins.”

Musically, Future Crib’s work achieves the same transportive quality. With driving indie-rock tunes, pockets of ethereal, Animal Collective-esque dreaminess and goosebump-inducing electro-pop moments, the music is dynamic and expressive, brilliantly paying no regard to any strict norms or structures. 

“One of the reasons it turned out that way was a simple technical thing: after we recorded each song, we actually tore everything down and started from scratch for the next song,” Rezek explained. “I think that kinda forced us to be super deliberate about what each song actually needed. We thought about the parts and the energy more holistically, rather than being like, ‘Oh, we have the drums already set up—let’s just use that.’” 

Chiming in, Pope added “Yeah, we did all of the songs differently. We recorded in different rooms, used different mics, did all sorts of different things. But in the end, they all fit together and sound like they’re coming from the exact same place. When I heard it all together, I was like ‘Woah, this is really cool—it works!’”

With “Most Likely Never Going To Die” as the first offering from this new batch of tunes, Future Crib is amping up for an exciting fall and winter—and with more music to come and a run of tour dates on the books, there’s a lot to look forward to. But for now, the band is still reflecting on the magic they cooked up for Full Time Smile—still a few months away from being released, the dust of that record-making experience hasn’t quite fully settled yet.

“I think part of the magic was just being together,” Anderson reflected. “We got to use every inch of the guest house for something, whether it was recording drums in the bathroom or just being spread out. The whole experience was so cozy and fulfilling and nice. There was no one interrupting us or looking over our shoulders… except for the ghost haunting the house, whose presence we all felt.” 

Still unsure whether they’re going to give the house’s ghost a personnel credit on the record or not, Future Crib is certainly sure that they can’t wait to share it. Whether it was a product of its time, an extension of their friendships, the result of some paranormal intervention or a combination of all three, Full Time Smile is a sincerely heartfelt record, speaking to the times through a timeless lens. With “Most Likely Never Going To Die” as its initial foray into the world, it’s clear that Future Crib’s body of work and knack for enduringly candid song-craft will only grow. 

Future Crib’s new album Full Time Smile is due September 10—watch the music video for their new single “Most Likely Never Going To Die” below:

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