Our third record... in zine form! Stream online and get this zine for the beautiful artwork, lyrics, and images. More about the record:
Matt Baron and his (secretly) educational rock band Future Hits left no stone unturned on “Future Hits and the Power of Discovery,” a family music opus that evokes the many thoughts, feelings, and physical changes that children (and people) experience over time.
For this zine album and digital release, which features vocals and lyrics in English and Spanish and additional liner note lyrics in Mandarin, Future Hits fleshed out a batch of ditties that bandleader Matt Baron wrote on acoustic guitar and evolved them into a lushly orchestrated album that truly defies the laws of family music.
Core band members Emma Hospelhorn, Ben Sutherland and Nick Kabat shine bright in new capacities: Emma sings lead on the majority of tunes, Ben (a seasoned composer) scores and conducts brilliant arrangements for strings and brass, and Nick unleashes his hidden talent of tinkling the ivories a la Thelonoius Monk. Honorary fifth member David Vandervelde (Father John Misty) adds teeth with sinewy, melodic mazes of guitar.
Future Hits invited a bevy of Chicago’s most in-demand musicians to contribute as well. This sui generis alchemy generated musical stories whose sonic narratives are as vivid as the album’s lyrics (all of which align to educational themes, i.e. phonics, literary devices, social/emotional learning outcomes, and more). Guests musicians include chamber group Quartet Parapluie, cornetist Josh Berman, trombonist Nick Broste and Diana Mosquera on Spanish vocals. After seeing free jazz extraordinaire Ben LaMar Gay perform live, Baron needed him to be on the record. A couple of days later, LaMar Gay and Baron went to the studio and improvised four instrumental tracks (Baron on synthesizer, LaMar Gay on an array of brass and percussion) that evoke imaginary duets between Sun Ra and Brian Eno.
The album title comes from a letter Baron received from Chicago musician Steven Gilpin, who, after seeing a group of children respond favorably to Future Hits’s fusion of music and education, wrote: “Thank you for showing me the value in the power of discovery.” The title is apropos to the record’s distinct recording approach and also serves as a band name extension (think Prince and the New Power Generation) that represents the thirteen-person group who made the record’s ornamental and powerful sound. And as an avid appreciator of liner notes and fonts, Baron enlisted artist and photographer Bryan Bedell (a designer for the iconic Field Notes Brand) to create a kaleidoscopic zine with influences ranging from Dadaism to Tiger Beat.
Grab your copy of this mesmerizing zine, stream these layered jams, and watch your child (and yourself) get lost in a magical world of art, lyrics, and musical arrangements, all of which make up Future Hits’s third full-length record. In doing so, you and yours will discover something powerful within.