Dawn Chorus #16: Hurtling – Future From Here

Dawn Chorus #16: Hurtling – Future From Here

Here we are then, another week. Let’s kick straight in to it. I’m hearing more of these nineties influenced alt-rock guitar sounds around at the moment but this album from Hurtling, just out last week is a particularly fine and catchy example of how to polish up that sound and expand outwards into dream-noise territory. 

Dawn Chorus header - a recommended album every week day

Hurtling Future From HereArtist: Hurtling
Album: Future From here
Label: Onomatopeia Records
Year of release: 2019
Genre: alt rock, dream-noise

Do you remember what it feels like to walk barefoot on gravel? The sharpness of the edges in the softness of your soles making you contort into ungainly shapes as the rest of your body folds away from the sensation. Then the curl of your toes around the cool roundness of pebbles as you feel suddenly connected to the indifferent yet natural element below you. It’s part pleasure, it’s part pain. It’s unyeilding yet moving, it’s hard but not impossible, holding you aware of each and every detail.

Future From Here, the debut album from Hurtling is a little like that. Much may be made of lead guitarist / vocalist Jen Macro’s time with My Bloody Valentine and at times that band’s sound seeps through into this record, but there is a fine lineage of guitar rock for it to blend with – everything from Throwing Muses to Supergrass, Cable to Sebadoh, Graham Coxon to Desperate Journalist reflected in the intricate yet in-your-face noise. The loud-quiet-loud card is played well here, benefiting from the delicacy and detail which each member brings to keep the structure from becoming cliched as melodies curl smoke-like patterns around the vocal.

Angular and anxious guitars introduce the whole thing on ‘Start’ before vocals cut through, and the song throws everything at you without ever being overbearing – it’s buzzing, it’s insistent, it’s….dropped…and started again, it’s soaring, it’s diving and it’s leading you toward something before squealing away.

‘Memory Cassette’ is a set to mature into a classic of guitar music, and if any of us still went down the indie disco of a weekend, we’d be sloshing off-brand doubles and sticky mixers over ourselves as we rebounded around the dancefloor to this. The climb of the guitar line, as the brilliance of ‘I’m the charred remains / of a girl we both knew before’ prises open whatever cracks we’re pretending don’t creep across our hearts, going from whisper to scream and staying stuck with us long beyond its play time.

There’s some lovely crunchy guitars on ‘Alone’ set against soft ooh-ooh-ahhs, dreamy and distant before a cleaner line breaks back through and what led us into the song leads us out again. There’s several songs like this – juxtaposing hard with soft, loud with quiet, rough with gentle – but it’s one of the first to grab your attention. Elsewhere it’s repeated listens, a resistance of skip culture, which will reward you greatly. Details hide in this album and while a first spin through will be pleasurable, it’s really getting to know it which will make you fall in love. Don’t rush, take your time with this one, it’s a keeper.

The band say their sound is made of loud guitars, intricate basslines, and driving drums and in doing so has done most of my work for me. It’s a concise but accurate summary of the noises being made here, but doesn’t quite go far enough in expressing how well they’ve combined it all, and how striking this album really is. In another age it would have had the fortune to be held out for mass appeal, but in these different days it’ll likely find its way mainly to those who are out looking for it. Make sure you’re one of those folks and let this album press into you – sharp edges against cool smoothness, embedding sensations which can be conjured in the memory and songs which you’ll want to play over and over again.

Find Hurtling

Dawn Chorus is a week day feature sharing an album to listen to on your morning commute, the school run, or at other times with the intention of surfacing classics you might not have given time to yet, indulging in old favourites, and helping you discover the best of new releases. If you’d like to suggest an album for the feature, or contribute a guest write up on an album you think more people should hear, get in touch

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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