A few months ago, I found myself in Planet Score Records, asking my pal Joe Stulce to introduce me to something new. He guided me to a group called Once & Future Band and their self-titled album from 2016, which also happened to be playing on the overhead speakers. I was intrigued, and decided to take the leap. I found their music quite interesting.
Unfortunately, I was also listening to a lot of other stuff at the same time. This CD kind of got lost in the shuffle. I played it, I liked it, and I shelved it. While researching my potential pieces on Intelli-Pop, I remembered the opening track from Once & Future Band’s CD. I thought it would fit nicely into what I was writing about.
Having played the album for a second time, I realize two things. First, Once & Future Band is a great album, and their style fits perfectly into the Intelli-Pop world. Secondly, I’ve never heard a more appropriately named band.
Once & Future Band sounds just like everything I loved about pop music in the ’70s. They also sound like what is possible in the years to come. They are exactly what they say they are. They are what was and what will be if given the chance to grow as they should.
When I listen to Once & Future Band, I hear Terry Kath-era Chicago (when the band had balls), Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, and electronic-driven artists like Cornelius. The sound is familiar, and yet completely unique. And it is utterly brilliant! The album’s opener, “How Does it Make You Feel?” sets the tempo beautifully.
From there, it’s just one lush composition and arrangement after another. Joel Robinow, Eli Eckert, and Raj Ohja strike all the right chords and keys toward 38 minutes of musical bliss. If you grew up in the 70s, it’s impossible to hear this music without experiencing a flashback or two.
This is one of those albums that really needs to be heard more than it needs to be talked about. To that end, I encourage you to do just that. Experience this album on Bandcamp! Put on your headphones, light a candle, and let everything else go while the music takes you away.
I can only wonder how great this record will be the third time I hear it.