I first became aware of this Sunderland band the way a number of people did, when I came across their amazing cover of Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love.' I've mentioned before that I'm a sucker for people with voices that aren't conventionally attractive, that wear their homes on their sleeves, and that's Ross Millard in spades. I don't know if I would categorize this as 'post punk,' as the band's influences seem to lie more in that weird space where new wave began to slowly transform into 'alternative rock'....but what The Futureheads do have in common with the punk bands of the first wave is an enthusiasm for their music. You can tell that the band is putting a lot of muscle into their playing--there are times when Dave Hyde seems to be pounding the drims so hard you're surprised they're still in one piece when he's done--and they're loving the chance to play for someone, anyone, because playing music is fun.
This is the second single off their third album, This Is Not The World, and it's a love letter to something I suspect most people don't do anymore--namely, listening to the radio at work, feeling a connection with a DJ and reaching out to make that connection closer with a request. In this day of iPods and MP3 players, where the connection between a person and his/her music has become both more personal and more isolated from a greater community, where people interact with their fellow fans through message boards and social media, the concept of the request line must seem alien. If services like Spotify can make you your own radio station, why do you need the terrestrial radio stations that you can physically call into and ask for your favorite song? In the context of today, the idea of Ross calling in to a DJ seems...quaint.
But then, we are talking about a band that decided its latest album would be an acapella album...which is one of the many reasons why I love them. They're fearless in their experimentation, doing what they want to do musically not because it's commercial or would make for good download sales, but because it sounds like fun.
The Futureheads are presently touring in support of their acapella album, Rant, around England. I kind of hope they'll end up here soon.
Here's the video...