Updated: Nov 22, 2021
The future might be in the West but the present is firmly rooted in melodic, propulsive guitar noise.
As I was recently rewatching Tina Weymouth's excellent documentary on bass (still available on the BBC iPlayer), I was reminded anew that music is essentially a propulsive force. It is taking you somewhere else, telling a story, moving you from one state to another. As Nile Rodgers relates, when discussing Bernard Edwards amazing bass style, they had a poster on the wall which was their manifesto - a song is an excuse to go to a chorus and a chorus is an excuse to go to the breakdown (take me to the bridge!)
late last nite is the new single from Future West, which is the creative outlet of Dundalk based multi-instrumentalist/producer Francis Watters. From the initial, diffident 'might as well go for a take', through the cleverly placed stop/starts to that thrilling, ecstatic ending this a song going places. It's also got great scope and ambition - it sounds like they were determined to chuck everything at it while still sounding unshowy. Like having Bootsy Collins in your band but dressing him in tracksuit.
Francis relates: "I wanted all the sections to flow in a way that a really bad hangover does, you know when it’s coming and going throughout the day and you’re not quite sure where your head is at? Hence, the quiet choruses and explosive second verse and ending. The shimmering, swelling reverberated guitars and overlapped lyrics in the chorus are my attempt at putting one's inner struggle with themselves in their head onto record."
A hangover set to music. Who can't relate? You know it will end and the music in this brilliant track cleverly underpins the story as it unfolds, sometimes reflecting the pain before bursting into a euphoric ending. And so we're ready to go again. It's human, it's primeval, it's moving in each sense of the word. It also has a slapping, zinging bass line.
Back to Francis again: "It was born out of frustration from fear and an internal argument after one too many nights of drinking and staying up too late indoors during quarantine times. It is a fresh, enthusiastic burst of indie energy with a sound which resembles that of a band with the thirst to take any stage they set foot on by storm."
Ahh yes the band - who they? Future West are Francis Watters - guitar/vocals, Peter McCoy - Guitar, John Mellon - bass and Pauric McCrum on drums. The new lineup have spent the last 18 months writing and recording in their newly built home studio. This track is the first single to be taken from their second album, Who Will Forgive All My Sins, due for release early 2022.
If this level of songwriting and production is maintained across an album's worth of material then we are in for a treat and I'll absolve them of all sins - past, present and future (west).
Excellent review and interview with Francis on The Sounds Won't Stop
Review in God Is In The TV Zine