Review: ‘The Future Kings of Nowhere’

I had never heard of the Future Kings of Nowhere before I heard this album, but I am undoubtedly impressed. Though it’s a free download, I would not hesitate to pay large sums of cash just to hear this record once.

The album is, in simplest terms, an indie rock album containing mostly an acoustic guitar, drums, bass, and vocals. Beyond that, most songs include some sort of secondary instrument such as horns, piano, or accordion. The simple

structure of most songs is offset and enhanced by drums and bass that seem to jump off of each other, as well as folk-influenced guitar giving the songs a sense of speed that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Often, the horns provide an accompanying jazz feel, giving the album an unorthodox aura of originality in the indie rock world.

Despite the variety of instruments, the songs are mostly written as pop songs. At first glance, this would seem like a bad thing, but Shayne O’Neill crafts the lyrics perfectly, making every line catchy, yet unique. After only one play through, I could sing along to most of the songs. The lyrics offer imagery that perfectly fits the theme of the song, but doesn’t simply provide a stereotypical view of the situation. There are songs of heartbreak and of love, but neither seem overdone or boring. Shayne’s heartbreak seems legitimate as he sings of tucking in his daughter as she looks more like his ex-lover every day.

The structure of the album never gets old, I’ve played it near thirty times before even writing this review, and I plan to listen even more. If I had to name the best pop records of the modern day, it would easily be split between the Future Kings of Nowhere and Frank Turner.

Also, if you like the record, don’t hesitating donating to the Future Kings of Nowhere. O’Neill was diagnosed with cancer last fall and could use all the support in the world.