By Ethan James Young
I remember the first time I got to see future.exboyfriend live. I was so encapsulated by the music and performance that I forgot I was in the very crowded Velour that night. As Sky Olson, who has frequently seen the band live, puts it, “Tyler [the lead singer] commands the stage the moment he walks on. His unique style and vibe initially grabs your attention. The moment he starts singing his addictive hooks with his distinctive voice, it’s impossible not to be transported to the place he wants you to be.”
If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to or seeing future.exboyfriend live, they are a psychedelic pop/rock band with more of a synth focus. Almost like Tame Impala but with their own unique twist. Their last full length album, Party in a Lonely Head, showcases their approach to the genre with their very danceable-yet-somber music.
Wasting no time, future.exboyfriend tells us what kind of album this is going to be from the very beginning. In “love.me,” we hear the title of the album in the deeply contrasted lyrics about feeling loveless with a luxurious, fun lifestyle. As far as sound goes, future.exboyfriend eases us in with the familiar sound of psychedelic rock while making sure there is a clear synth pad hinting at the other synth sounds that come up in the album later on.
future.exboyfriend continues to deliver songs that tie together through the theme expressed in the album’s title. For example, “wasted!” – a song about partaking of toxins to lift your spirits when you are with a toxic ex – seems to elaborate on details from the song before, “dancin’w/myself.”
The cherry on top, which I think best expresses what this album is, is a single instance in the track “me.myself&andi,” where a cold, deep, and dry voice cuts off the lush and reverberant track with the single word “party,” mocking the singer after expressing so much loneliness. The musicality and sound choices are never questioned with thick bass, punchy drums, proper guitar pedal choice, and smartly designed synths found throughout Party in a Lonely Head.
future.exboyfriend concludes Party in a Lonely Head with “yellow.,” a finale with a powerful, magnificent drum break and moving synth pads – with an emotional monologue hidden in the background of the track (a familiar element to the lonely heads found at any party).
Overall, Party in a Lonely Head is very impressive. Some songs fit strongly with the theme of the album, especially those at the beginning: “love.me,” “dancin’w/myself,” “seeyouaround.,” “alright.,” etc. However, other songs get lost in the album and seem like they would have done better on a separate release.
If I were Anthony Fantano from The Needle Drop, I’d probably give this album a light 6; however, I am not him. So I give it a decent 8.
Make sure to follow future.exboyfriend on Instagram and check out “love.me” below!