The members of Oakland group Once & Future Band have been friends and musical collaborators for well over a decade, making music in bands like Drunk Horse, Howlin Rain, East Bay Grease and a handful of others. Built around the combined musical might of singer-multi-instrumentalist Joel Robinow, drummer-engineer Raj Ojha, singer-bassist Eli Eckert and guitarist Raze Regal, the band fashions a mixture of heavenly soft rock melodies, funk-addled movements and prog-y arrangements that manage to hold on to their nebulous pop innocence. You can practically smell the worn shag carpets and jasmine blowing in the "Summer Breeze."
The band released their self-titled debut record last year via Castle Face Records, the imprint owned by Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer. And the label has paired with the band once again to release their forthcoming 4-track EP, "Brain," which is due out March 9. They'll be heading out on tour in the coming months, playing select dates in the UK and the US from March-May.
On their new single, "Destroy Me," taken from "Brain," the band tackles a soft focus celestial rock sound beamed in from distant planet where Loggins & Messina and ELO rule the airwaves and Seals & Croft are still putting out records. But the song isn't some empty vehicle for nostalgia -- it's filled with complex rhythmic allusions and an extensive musical history. Their strange brew of weirdo orchestral pop-rock is refreshing in its honesty and affection. There's no overt affectation here, just the sound of some guys having fun and flipping through their parent's record collections. This mass and mash of cosmic rock sounds and AM-radio emotionality is perfectly realized and effortlessly brought to life by the band.
Check out the track below along with the band's upcoming tour schedule.
02.27 – The Angel Microbrewery Nottingham, United Kingdom
03.01 – Albert Hall Manchester, United Kingdom
03.02 – Troxy London, United Kingdom
03.04 – Ramsgate Music Hall Ramsgate, United Kingdom
03.05 – The Crofters Rights Bristol, United Kingdom
03.06 – Gwdihw Cardiff, United Kingdom
03.08 – The Cluny Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
03.09 – The Shipping Forecast Liverpool, United Kingdom
04.18 – Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA
04.24 – Thalia Hall Chicago, IL
04.26 – The Signal Chattanooga, TN
04.28 – The Joy Theater New Orleans, LA
04.29 – Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
05.06 – Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
05.09 – The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
05.11 – Fox Theater Oakland, CA
05.12 – MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa South Lake Tahoe, NV