Futurebirds x The Nude Party

Presented/Guest
KUAA Presents
co-headlining show
with Pearl Charles
Date
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Time/Doors
Doors 7 | Show 8
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Futurebirds

Rock juggernaut Futurebirds’ newest EP, Bloomin’ Too, is a benchmark that not only celebrates 13 years together, it’s also a testament to the sheer iron will of a group of musicians hungry for the fruits of its labor.

“Futurebirds is the best it’s been right now, far and away,” says singer/guitarist Carter King. “We’ve been unintentionally carving out our own space since the beginning, since we never exactly fit in anywhere else musically. We were always too indie rock for the jam festival, too country for the indie scene, a little too psych-rock to feel like we were Americana. The music over the years just kind of created its own weird little ecosystem — it's thriving and it feels great.”

The Athens, Georgia-based group once again tapped storied My Morning Jacket guitarist/producer Carl Broemel in the latest chapter of this seamless, bountiful partnership that initially came to fruition with the 2021 EP, Bloomin’.

“Carl is extremely perceptive and an all-around smart dude. He’s really in tune with what the band is and what it strives to be. He’s engaged and understands our vision,” King says. “He’s a longtime hero of ours, and now is a friend and collaborator. It’s wild. And it’s great to be able to defer to someone you respect so much with creative decisions in the studio — we don’t just give that trust to just anybody.”

Captured this past spring at the legendary Ronnie’s Place in Nashville, Tennessee, the seven-song Bloomin’ Too is a vortex of sonic textures. The album ricochets from cosmic space, rock to rough around the edges, alt-country dreamscapes, sandy beach bum odes to kick in your step pop ballads — all signature tones and musical avenues at the core of the Birds' wide musical palette.

“This is probably the quickest turnaround we’ve ever had for a record — we felt confident right when we got into the studio and just cranked it out,” says singer/guitarist Daniel Womack. “All of our frequencies are aligned as a band, where we’ve got this free-flow of ideas happening. We’re all on the same page right now and we have a lot of momentum going.”

For Broemel, he finds a sincere kinship and solidarity with Futurebirds. Witnessing first-hand the band’s blue-collar work ethic in the studio, Broemel was impressed and inspired by the ‘Birds’ democratic ways and means in how music is created and cultivated in the studio.

“Futurebirds have this unique vibe with three singer-songwriters in the band, where everyone is constantly shifting their function depending on the song,” Broemel says. “Everyone just kind of falls into place and finds something to contribute. Someone will lead the charge on one song, then fall back and let another take charge on the next — it’s something rare to see and behold in rock music, where normally there’s just one songwriter and one leader.”

That camaraderie between founding members King, Womack, singer/guitarist Thomas Johnson and bassist Brannen Miles began when they were college students at the University of Georgia. In recent years, the quartet has added pedal steel player Kiffy Myers, keyboardist Spencer Thomas and drummer Tom Myers.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to be up there onstage, to look across and see these other super talented dudes all stoked to be there,” King says. “We’re brothers and family and all that, but what's truly most impressive is that we’ve remained good friends on top of that. At the end of the day, for us, it’s always been about having a good time. That's what keeps this thing moving.”

From there, it’s been endless miles on that old lost highway. It’s this rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts and actions — gig after gig, year after year — where now the band will be making its debut at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a highly-anticipated two-night run (Oct. 3-4) alongside indie-rock darlings Caamp.

“It was pure elation when we were offered Red Rocks,” Womack says. “Everything we’ve been working towards has always included being able to play Red Rocks someday — it’s a big win for us and such a gratifying feeling.”

And though Futurebirds have offered up another instant classic release with Bloomin’ Too, the foundation of the group’s ethos, attitude, and rabid fan base remains its live shows — these undulating waves of sound, energy and passion spilling out onto the audience in this two-way street of respect and admiration.

“The line between the stage and the audience has always been blurred, and we’ve definitely carried ourselves that way since the beginning,” Womack says. “The early days of rock-n-roll were about the mysticism surrounding musicians and bands. That’s never been us. We want to embrace our fans, to actually hang out and get to know them — they’re all part of the BirdFam.’”

Reflecting on the last 13 years, King can only shake his head in awe of what has transpired over that time period for Futurebirds, personally and professionally. From playing empty dive bars to selling out theaters coast to coast, from college kids to now husbands and fathers — the sacred flame of music, creativity and performance continually cradling and nurturing deeply-held dreams.

“You start out doing this solely because it’s fun and you have no preconceived notion of what’s going to happen or what it should be. And then, you get a taste of this possibly being your actual life,” King says. “Maybe you get too serious about it, or too wrapped up in how you are being received, or the industry watermarks of success. But, life’s just a perception game. It’s about having fun and aligning yourself with the right people. The community that’s built up around us has made it real easy to peel back all that brush and noise and see this thing for what it really is."

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The Nude Party

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For The Nude Party, nearly a decade has flown by in the blink of an eye. In that time, the New York-based band has released a pair of well-received albums, an EP, and played countless shows. Prior to the pandemic, the band was really starting to hit its stride. They had a system in place and were spreading their brand of melodic rock to the masses. In fact, they could count Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, and Orville Peck as vocal supporters, which led to support slots for each. Soon, incredible live appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, and Shaky Knees became the norm. 

In late 2020, The Nude Party released its sophomore album, Midnight Manor, which debuted at #1 on the Alternative New Artists Album Chart. The sextet was unable to tour behind it and compared its release to skipping a stone over a raging river. A byproduct was that it showed the band that on their third album, they couldn’t lean on their tried-and-true method of testing out new material live and then hunker down to record. 

Instead of sitting around, the band got busy. Setting up shop in their Upstate New York headquarters, the group used the funds they’d saved and spent a year building a studio space out of a barn. Tired of paying for studio time and being rushed, The Nude Party methodically worked at their own pace. Out were the sessions lasting a strict handful of days. In were impromptu writing moments and picking every sound as they went along.

When the band met the Tampa based engineer Matthew Horner, they discovered that they had the opposite problems: Matthew had a collection of incredible gear with no studio and The Nude Party had a great new studio with no gear. So they invited him to move his equipment up to the Catskills to record an album together. Such was the origin of the band’s third album, Rides On. 

Unlike their first two albums, The Nude Party decided to produce Rides On themselves. With their new space and the help of Horner, The Nude Party had as much fun creating as they ever had at any other point in their career. The lack of pressure allowed them to record over 20 songs, including some that dabbled in electro-pop and stripped-down country before settling on the final 14 songs. 

Rides On, the band confidently says, is their best record. It’s also the most homegrown and the most organic record The Nude Party has created to date. Working on the album themselves allowed for a democratic process where each band member could take a fuller role in producing the songs they wrote. There was some initial trepidation about there being too many cooks in the kitchen. But as is the benefit of owning your own studio space, time was not a factor. In turn, it

allowed for the band’s ideas to blossom, everyone’s voice be taken into account and create an exciting, collaborative vibe. 

The relaxed atmosphere of the sessions, and arriving with only loosely structured material, allowed the band to thrive in the studio. It also unleashed a diverse sonic texture compared to their previous releases, as best demonstrated by the title track, “Ride On.” Sonically, the song is reminiscent of Sticky Fingers-era Stones, but its lyrics are mini-vignettes where Magee sings about persevering through adversity. The twangy, blues-drenched licks of the title track, the breezy desert dust encapsulated by the ‘70s infused “Hard Times,” the Shaun Couture-led “Sold Out of Love,” the swinging ‘60s garage vibes of “Cherry Red Boots,” which captures the spirit of what The Nude Party are going for — and showcases their growth as a band. As does expanding the band’s sonic palate with a cover of Dr. John’s “Somebody Tryin' To Hoodoo Me.” It would have been easy to stick to the New Orleans musician’s format, but the band showed off their prowess with their own darker, electric version of the deep cut. 

The Nude Party coalesced and embraced the spirit of collaboration. They’re excited to begin the next chapter of their career. 

At a time when it would have been easy to pack it in, the band continues to persevere.

Pearl Charles

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Pearl Charles lives in the moment, seeking excitement whether it leads her down a dark, dusty road or into the arms of a trouble-making lover. Her songs describe late night revelry, love affairs, running away and running towards, serenading the sunrise through whirlwind stories of her native Los Angeles, the city, the canyon, the desert, and the road. On a quest to discover the truest version of herself, Charles embraces the feeling of not being settled, a person who always restlessly wants more from life and is willing to chase it, wherever it may lead her.