Futon Blonde

Futon Blonde: “Goodbye, Goodbye”

An obvious understatement, but music’s taken some huge leaps in the past century-plus of sound recording. So while the simple lyrical structures and repetitive chord progressions of pioneers like Robert Johnson or Lead Belly may seem laughably basic to some nowadays, that’s only because we’ve become spoiled by one integral element – the groove. In the modern era, ranging from pop to hip-hop, rock, and beyond, lyrics and chords alone don’t cut it; you gotta put the hook in listeners with an infectious groove. And although one could argue that indie rock is one of the least groovy genres, the mere presence of a groove separates the best from the rest.

For examples of such right here in Austin, we can fall back on Futon Blonde. Initially framed around songwriter Janson Sommers, Futon Blonde’s since gone on to quadruple their groove capacity thanks to fellow songwriter-vocalists Mark Webb (lead guitar) and Ben ‘Beng’ Goodman (bass), not to mention drummer Steve Zamora. Now in their tenth year of the affair, Futon Blonde’s cushioned their groove-dominant formulas around funk, alternative, and psych rock over tours, EPs, and one full-length. And as they kick off a second decade together, the Futon’s converting once again – this time with streaks of 2010s R&B.

Bouncy bass lines, soulful vocals, smooth six-string, and a plethora of pulsating percussion choices permeate throughout Futon Blonde’s next EP Multiplier. It’s certainly a departure from last Spring’s Something That We’ve All Experienced Together Before, and even more so from 2019’s Uppercut, but based on the latest batch of tunes (mixed by Loma/Cross Record collaborator Dan Duszynski), we sure as hell aren’t complaining. So especially since it’s that time of year everyone turns a new leaf, instead of succumbing to couch lock, catch Futon Blonde 8PM tonight at Hotel Vegas for a single release show with openers Hex Boyfriend at 7PM. The new single in question? “Goodbye, Goodbye”, which, as you might’ve guessed from its title, was inspired by the end of a relationship. On top of some tasteful drum programming steaming up the background, sensual rhythm guitar cutting through like a butter knife, baby-makin’ bass, plus the usual gusto of luscious lead guitar and grounded percussion, Webb crushes vocals on this expansive original of his. In other words “Goodbye, Goodbye” bids farewell to that old fling and says “hello” to this new era of groove for Futon Blonde.

Janson Sommers: “Neon God”

Have you ever met an artist that has a bunch of wacky-sounding projects under their belt, only to discover that their eponymous material is the real off-the-wall stuff? Well that’s exactly what you get with Janson Sommers, who temporarily shelved his indie rock band Futon Blonde at the onset of COVID and released an electronic EP last summer under the moniker Dad Boy. But in the short time since then, Sommers has perfected his production techniques and re-surfaced once again as a sleek synth-savant.

So far, all three of Janson’s self-titled singles pack batshit beats and bass, not to mention an eloquent sense of melody and structure. The latest one finds Janson Sommers weaning off lyrics for a strictly instrumental venture, so if you’re in need of a new addition to your workout playlist or just want a two-minute respite from the real world, all you gotta do is approach the primordial altar and offer yourself to the “Neon God”.

Futon Blonde: “Sisyphus Strut”

With an initial frame assembled from the demos of Janson Sommer in 2014, Futon Blonde has since reclined and extended for maximum listener comfort. Since finalizing the lineup heard on the 2016 EP Solid State, this Austin quartet’s proven time and time again that blondes do indeed have more fun, thanks to eclectic grooves that stand out against the otherwise predictable realm of indie rock sonics. Futon Blonde’s trickled out a couple singles since their 2019 LP Uppercut, but they all pack a similar punch in their own right. Case in point: “Sisyphus Strut”, which taps into ’90s-era hip-hop production techniques to roll a boulder of indie-adjacent funk psychedelia, guaranteed to help you break out of any workplace monotony and push through to the weekend.