It was only around a month ago that we last featured London’s Joseph Futak, when we premiered his debut single, Scrambling Around. The track served as the first taste of what we should expect from Joseph’s upcoming EP, Pigeon Songs, which will arrive on Fox Food Records in September. Ahead of that release, last week saw Joseph release the second single from the EP, Gone Before.
If Scrambling Around was a wurlitzer-led slice of heartbreak, Gone Before is something of a darker beast; Joseph’s rich baritone accompanied by swampy-bass and ominous, interwoven guitar lines. Discussing Gone Before, Joseph has suggested it is a track of, “quiet unrest”, wanting to warn someone of what might be ahead, while being, “unable to ignore the sinking feeling in your gut that your words are landing on deaf ears”. Like much of Joseph’s music it seems to walk the line between singer-songwriter and atmospheric indie, while the prominent vocals might nod to Bill Callahan or King Creosote, there’s a richness to the atmospherics reminiscent of the more expansive ilk of Radiohead or Low. Joseph has taken his time to get to this point, fine-tuning his craft to be ready for his moment, and with such care and attention, his songwriting shines. Wherever his music is headed next, Joseph Futak is a name well worth remembering.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Joseph Futak?
I’m a songwriter and producer originally from Bristol and currently living in South London. I make music that’s mostly a bit folky and quite gentle and introverted, but I also have a secret love of all things extravagant, over the top and in your face (would love to do a mad pop project some day). I also love a long walk and a good book!
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
It went pretty hilariously badly, my lovely friend George (who plays bass and sings on my upcoming EP!) and I played some all day show back in Bristol when we were like 16 and tried to be clever and use backing tracks for drums – but we made it far too bassy and the entire stage physically shook from how loud it was. This would have been great but we were trying to play a really gentle acoustic song. I’ve never seen a sound engineer run faster back to the desk to turn it down!
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I’m just massively fascinated by sound and songwriting! I’ve recently made the transition to being a producer and mixing engineer full time and I’m just constantly in awe of what people can do with sound and voices and words, and how you can so powerfully convey emotion through that – I just think it’s incredible! For me, my songwriting is quite a personal thing, I’ve always been a bit cautious of how I share my own expressions through that medium. It meant that working with my lovely band and an external producer (the magical Nathan Ridley) and all the people who have helped with things like artwork and videos and releasing my songs became a bit of an excersise in embracing the beautifully communal aspect of sharing your music with people. I love other art forms too and working with Lucy Payne who designed the artwork and Ola Arent who made the video has been a really fulfilling experience in combining music with other art forms!
FTR: What can people expect from the Joseph Futak live show?
A lot of awkward jokes, the talent of my wonderful band and if you’re lucky, some hardcore nudity (joking). A lot of my songs are pretty quiet and controlled in how we play them, but theres one where I get really shouty and run into the audience and get a bit carried away which is always a lot of fun.
FTR: What’s next for Joseph Futak?
I’m putting out the first EP under my own name on September 4th, which is released courtesy of the wonderful Fox Food Records. I’m about halfway through writing a follow up album, which has been exciting and daunting! I’m also itching to get back into playing live, but in the meantime I’m helping some very lovely and talented friends with a few musical projects they’re developing, and doing a lot of mixing. My dream is to do something with Arca or Rosalia one day though!
They Listen To…
Arca ft. Rosalia – KLK
Solange – Down With the Clique
Low – Shame
Aldous Harding – Damn
Kitty Fitz – Split Ends
Pigeon Songs is out September 4th via Fox Food Records. Click HERE for more information on Joseph Futak.