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album review: silverdays

Silverdays is the third studio album by Nashville jangle pop rock group Future Crib. These guys have been making a name for themselves since 2016 with their experimental nature and catchy, relatable song topics, which deal a lot with the troubles of growing up in your late teens and early 20s. Their sonic palate is quite noteworthy as well, infusing elements of grunge-esque indie rock with jangly power-pop and folk tendencies. 

With that being said, this album is a huge left turn for the group. Whilst each project they’ve dropped has always been different from the previous one, this new record is easily their most experimental and ambitious effort yet (not to mention their shortest as well, clocking in at just 13 minutes!). It’s also arguably their softest as well, mainly abandoning their former rock soundscapes in favor of a more experimental and folksy direction. The album also came with the release of what the band describes as a “moving picture art book,” which is a short film that has different visual pieces for each track, but is all filmed inside their home. I highly recommend watching, as it could add another perspective on the record for some. Give it a try!

We also see a slight change in tone with the lyrics. Whilst some of the songs here contain the same themes they’ve sung about on past records, others could possibly be interpreted as more of a meditation on our current social climate, which is evident on the first track here titled Feeling Exchange.  In my personal opinion, the lines “If there’s murder on the TV, Then we can throw a party, And throw back all the love we could use” showcase a desire to spread the message that simple love and understanding for one another could solve a lot of the current issues facing modern-day society. Although this song contains their signature powerpop-style delivery that they’ve showcased on previous efforts, we hear a clear change in style with way more folky instrumentation–almost like a power-pop version of an AJJ song.  

After this song though, it’s off to the races with the experimentation.  For it’s very short runtime, they explore a ton of sounds and song structures, as well as a couple of interludes like “Ouch!” and “Dishes” that contain clips of washing dishes and falling off of skateboards as an attempt for this album to make the listener really feel at home–whether your definition of home is where you live, with your family, or with a close group of friends. This very special element adds such a unique feeling to the record that is very rare to find in a lot of other projects in the same realm as Silverdays. 

Things take a turn for the weirdest (yet oddly satisfying) with the tracks “In the Kitchen” and “A Trip to Mind Mumbling” which deliver the same purpose as the interludes, but with entirely different takes. The former almost sounds like one of the more ambient moments on Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot record, as well as some Flaming Lips influence thrown in there as well, with grand pianos playing in the background whilst certain sound effects air out in the background. “A Trip to Mind Mumbling” layers three different vocal tracks, with each one containing a different set of lyrics.  Although both of these songs are quite brief, they make for some of my favorite moments on the record, adding such unique and tasteful soundscapes to level out the rest of the more indie-folk cuts here.

Although “Iceberg” and “Summer Spice are some of the more straightforward cuts on the album, they are still incredibly enjoyable as they continue to build on Future Crib’s usual lyrical themes of confusion, growing up, and friendships but this time with more folk and indie-pop instrumentals. They are still not as loud and as rowdy as previous Future Crib albums like Friends, but they still have catchy and infectious deliveries, giving off the feel of a nice Sunday morning out on your front porch.

My favorite track from this whole project however is the closer, the title-track.  It almost serves as another take on the lyrical themes of “Feeling Exchange,” with more regretful and hopeless lines like: “The golden age is gone and now you can’t pretend, Whatever you did wrong, you can’t make amends, Don’t it feel so lonely when you miss back then?” Interestingly enough, these lines are still delivered in a more upbeat, optimistic inflection. Although the lyrics are quite devastating, the song itself is very nice on the ears and could put anyone in a good mood assuming they don’t know what the song is truly about, which is not very easy to do.

Silverdays might surprise some longtime Future Crib fans, but if you really take the time to sit down with this one and let it consume you, chances are you’re going to find a lot to love about this record like I did. It’s a bit of a slowburner for some who might not be quite used to the sound Future Crib is shooting for here, but considering the total change they’ve implemented into their style and the amount of risks the band took on this (and how many of those risks panned out fantastically), this is an album and a band that anyone who’s a fan of any type of indie music should be keeping on their radar.

Listen to Silverdays here:

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