The two-track ‘Bank Robber Song/This Morning’ is a deep breath amid the bustle of London life.
The new two-track single from Joseph Futak demonstrates the confident patience and domestic genius emanating from ever further corners of London. With symphonic strings and heraldic trumpets, all restrained behind a facade of slowcore indie, it reflects the growing ambition of the city’s DIY underground. Futak has produced a number of acts who have played a part in this trend, including Lilo and My Life Is Big label-mates Tapir!. It is therefore not surprising that Futak’s solo work leans furthest into the building blocks of the expansive, yet intimate sound found on the recordings of both of these acts.
The pairing works wonderfully. ‘Bank Robber Song’ is led gently along as Futak drawls, in a style reminiscent of his peer Benjamin Woods of the Golden Dregs. His speaker is a reluctant bank robber and an even more reluctant lover. The softboy’s answer to Genet, they admit that in spite of a dangerous life of crime, “I’m never more scared than when I’m with you”.
‘This Morning’ rises almost seamlessly out of the close of ‘Bank Robber Song’. You thought the opener was slow? Well this takes slowness even further. You feel each line occurring to the singer as he sings it, pushing for romantic optimism. With rippling keys, pining strings and languid repetitive phrasing, we are tugged along. By the close, Futak has opened up a wonderfully cavernous sonic space. Its feel of wooden floorboards and improvisational looseness will be familiar to fans of caroline.
This meditative pair of complimentary songs is a beautiful offering. With so much time and space given to each sound, it is tempting to see them like an exploded view of a lot of the modern folk and post-rock crossover music coming out of London at the moment. At the same time, the single should be taken on its own terms as an eloquent statement from a confident new artist. A police siren at the end of ‘This Morning’ recalls the content of ‘Bank Robber Song’ and calls us out of the reverie back to modern city life. We return ever so slightly lighter.