Today, Futures releases their brand new LP, Hills & Horizons (DREAM Records). The 11-song album is a beautiful blend of Pop, Alternative and Adult Contemporary sounds filled with melodies of hope for listeners looking for richer experience of God. The new record features songs such as "Just So Good", "Simple", Can't Steal This Love," and "Good Things."
We are honored to be chat with the Futures' Chloe Evans, Mark Evans, Danae Leslie, and Ryan Rolls for this exclusive review.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new album, why did you decide to call the record "Hills and Horizons"?
Mark: Of course & thank you! After we wrote the song Hills & Horizons there was almost no doubt about what the album would be titled. I feel like in the moment, we all looked at each other and just knew. There is a beautiful collision within this song in that it's deeply personal and yet manages to articulate the shared human experience we've all lived through these last few years. Hills & Horizons is the hopeful struggle, the pressure of fecundity, the beauty of a brutal climb; it's the tension of trust and it's reward that gives us clarity in the chaos. This song means a great deal to us.
Q: How would you describe the sound of this album?
Chloe: Sonically, our songs are upbeat, full of joy and life; they're uplifting and super fun! The songs on this album carry deep messages that have come out of some really challenging seasons of life, but through the journey of writing and producing, they've found a unique faith-filled identity and resolve. Ultimately, we feel like Hills & Horizons is a really fresh way of presenting the gospel to a world that desperately needs a remedy for their pain and questioning.
Q: I have read that it took you guys more than two years to make this record. Why did it take such a long time?
Danae: It's crazy to read that cos you know what they say - time flies when you're having fun, and it certainly did in this album-making process! We're very intentional about writing together and writing often, so we probably have 40-50 songs in completed demo form that have come out of the past 2 years...so you can imagine just the shortlisting process took months in itself! I love that we ended up with 11 songs that all fit the landscape (no pun intended) of Hills + Horizons, sonically and thematically, because I really feel like it has a strong identity as a collection now and it was worth the journey.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of this album?
Ryan: It's all about collaboration. Truth is, none of us have it all together or have this thing figured out. We are at our best together. For me the highlight is the journey of how these songs have come together. Some from a random melody that one of us had stuck in our head, others from God speaking in a devotion time, some starting by one of us sharing about a difficult time that we're going through personally. I think you'll hear and feel that in each song. As simple as it sounds, we've laughed together, cried, gotten irritated, and everything in between, but it has all come together in the best way and has built the strongest friendships. I wish you could see video clips of writing sessions that took a brain break of jumping in a freezing lake, or riding a canoe down a perilously steep boat ramp, or smoking out a cabin trying to light the fireplace. I think you'll hear the memories and the chemistry in the songs and we pray that it would become the soundtrack to the season of life that you're in currently.
Q: With many songs these days that are focused on the self, I love how many of your songs point to God and what he has done for us. I love songs such as "Famous" and "Alibi." Is this something you deliberately strive for?
Chloe: That's so encouraging that you can sense the God-focus in our songs because it is certainly something we really set out to be intentional with when we are collaborating and writing. It's so important to us that people experience JESUS when they listen to our music - more than a good message or an uplifting beat; we want people to encounter God through our music. Famous is also a special one for me personally - it's like a statement and a banner of what we are about; that we would get out of the way and live to make Him famous!
Q: If you had to pick two songs that best represent the heartbeat of the Futures, which would they be? And why.
Mark: Gosh, this is a tough question! At the risk of being predictable, the first one would for sure be Hills & Horizons. It's so connected to our journey as an artist that I'd be straight-out lying if I said it wasn't one of our most important songs. The other would be Good News. The opening lines, "If you think what you've done is enough to count you out, I've got good news." is everything we're about. Our very clear mission is that our music would communicate to a hurting world the good news of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and unmatched love. I feel like every song we've written and will write is just a chapter in the book of Good News.
Q: How do you hope these songs will speak to your listeners?
Mark: We really believe that music affects our personal atmospheres. They say that music is the only thing that can invade the soul without permission. That puts a huge responsibility on us to pray through the purpose of every moment in every track. We believe the spirit of these songs breaks through depression, disappointment, discouragement & disillusion; literally changing not only how someone feels about their situation but how they see everything. That's our prayer. A genuine experience of total freedom, peace & joy.
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