Future Clouds and Radar
Gig Seeker Pro

Future Clouds and Radar

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
09
Future Clouds and Radar @ The Ghost Room

Austin, None, USA

Austin, None, USA

Nov
11
Future Clouds and Radar @ Ruta Maya

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

Sep
02
Future Clouds and Radar @ ND at 501 Studios

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Peoria is emotionally powerful....uniformly beautiful, surrounded by arrangements of complexity and depth..... 34 minutes of meditations on pop music possibilities"
No Depression

"Spine tingling pop wonder....In a perfect world the government's $700 billion bailout package would include buying a copy of Future Clouds and Radar's sophomore album Peoria for every man, woman and child in America...one of the most promising American bands of the new millennium"
Amplifier

"...smart, carefully crafted.... art rock compellingly embellished with psychedelic tinges and pop swirls"
-Pitchfork

"... like Pink Floyd interpreting William Wordsworth's 'Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood.' Yet even when expounding on existential ideas or drifting into the ether, Future Clouds and Radar always radiate with transcendent splendor."
The Austin Chronicle

".... masterful craftsmanship... melodies flow.... Harrison's voice, ever expressive, remains one of the best in current pop music ( as it has been for more than a decade, if you've been paying attention): he sings a ballad like nobody else alive."-30 Music

"From avant-garde jazz to cleanly infectious power-pop, it is remarkable how Harrison and co. are able to conjure up such a fascinating sound so consistently."
Obscure Sound

"Sit down, turn off the cell phone, and spend some time with it. Faith will be rewarded. For Future Clouds and Radar existentialism and ecstasy go hand in hand."
-Blurt Online - numerous


It's a recipe for disaster: a big, bloated 2-disc, 27-song debut full of the worst excesses of flower-power psychedelia- blatting tubas and baroque harpsichords and "love each other, man" sentiments. Far out. So consider it a triumph of schizophrenic musical vision that Future Clouds & Radar succeeds so well. Former Cotton Mather frontman Robert Harrison stirs in the rollicking circus organ of early Elvis Costello, ELO's mellotron, heavily reverbed guitars and Big Star horns and the acid-damaged musings of Roky Erickson, and then slaters a huge helping of Revolver-era John Lennon on top. "Dr. No" and "Hurricane Judy" are two of the best "And Your Bird Can Sing" ripoffs I've ever heard, "Chirstmas Day 1923" can stand with the finest of Lennon's disquieting ballads on the Plastic Ono Band album, and "Altitude" and "Let Me Get Your Coat" hint at the psychedelic grandeur of "A Day in the Life." There are missteps galore, but this is an irritating, indulgent, beautiful and brilliant mess.
4 stars

Andy Whitman - Paste Magazine


Cotton Mather nearly made it big. Formed in Austin around 1991, Robert Harrison basically picked the band name off a book cover (it truly never had significance) and initially, it was an avant-pop outfit with guitar and cello. By the time of their debut release in 1994, the combo had evolved into a more standard rock outfit. But in 1997, with a more permanent lineup that included Josh Gravelin on bass, guitar wizard Whit Williams, and drummer/singer Dana Myzer, the group released the landmark album Kontiki, featuring one of the decade's most stunningly perfect pop singles, "My Before And After," and everything changed. The little avant-pop group that could barely get noticed in their own hometown was suddenly getting huge amounts of airplay, and, somehow, a copy of the album made its way into the hands of Noel Gallagher, who raved about the band in print and gave them opening slot gigs for Oasis.

Hip indie Rainbow Quartz reissued the album the following year (and again the year after that). But in America, the tiny Houston label that originally released the album was unable to get actual product in the stores. So a hit in Philly translated to no sales, as no one could find the album in the stores. After an interesting, artsy EP—Hotel Baltimore (with several brilliant songs), the group followed up with 2001's The Big Picture, which included another masterpiece, "40 Watt Solution."

The band, which had begun life as a quirky avant-garde outfit, had morphed into a live powerhouse, capable of playing onstage alongside any great band anywhere. But along the way, on the verge of a big European tour that would've made the group a lot of money, it all fell apart. Family issues had arisen (young babies can turn touring dads into stay-at-homes), and Harrison suffered severe and long-lasting back problems as a result of a serious car accident. When one of his band members confided to Harrison that it seemed to him that the band was holding him (Harrison) back, Harrison realized that it might be time to retire the 'Cotton Mather' brand, as it were, and start afresh. While the music had been at times magnificent, and there was a large cult audience for it, the possibilities inherent in the music had always been so much greater than cult success would ever allow.

For several years, Harrison was basically prone, unable to play guitar. Little by little he started to pick up the ukulele (which didn't hurt his back), and wonderful new songs like "Quicksilver" (the first tune written for the new album) literally started to pour out.. Harrison's little garage set-up had been turned into a full-fledged recording studio, where he worked produced and engineered projects like 's Carrie Clark's (ex-Sixteen Deluxe_ band The Pretty Please. One of the band names mooted for that project really caught Harrison's fancy -- Future Clouds & Radar -- which that band voted down; but it became increasingly clear to Harrison that that might indeed be exactly the right name for his new, evocative, more expansive sound. Indeed, some time later, his new band (the touring version of which includes Gravelin on bass, a lead guitarist, drummer, and a multi-instrumentalist on vibes, horns, and keys) have actually started referring to Harrison himself as 'Future Clouds' (a funny and somewhat apropos moniker, I must say).

Six years on from Cotton Mather, and the future's looking really bright for the newly christened Future Clouds & Radar. Over three albums worth of material -- much of it brilliant, fully textured pop songs -- has been recorded. One of America's biggest name PR firms has fallen in love with the music, and agreed to take on the project. Past label woes have been solved by the formation of a new label, The Star Apple Kingdom, which Harrison asserts has enough financial clout to get the job done this time. A major US distribution deal is pending.

For their eponymous debut Harrison insisted that artistically it just had to be released as a double album. Furthermore, instead of just selecting all the best pop songs, the album was carefully crafted as a listening experience, with interstitial pieces of music and links that serve to enhance and set off some of the finest songs of his career. With Harrison's distinctive, powerful lead vocals, it does in fact sound very much like Cotton Mather. The biggest differences are really internal, not so much things that the listener will hear.

With Cotton Mather, particularly with the final lineup of the band, it had developed to a point where the band would very much put its own identifiable stamp on the music. Harrison now uses a rotating group of friends and session musicians in his studio, most of them Cotton Mather fans, to be fair, but people who play more nearly a sideman function. If you look at the whole Cotton Mather catalog, you'll hear precedents for most of the new record's sonic palettes. But overall, the sound is less easily classifiable, and ultimately, almost breath - Pop Culture Press


Discography

1) Debut double disc "Future Clouds and Radar" [Released 5/07]
2) "Build Havana" EP with three previously unreleased tracks and a single [Released 9/07]
3) "Peoria" [Released 11/08]

Photos

Bio

Austin- based Future Clouds and Radar, the multi-instrumental art-pop ensemble headed by Robert Harrison, released their ambitious self-titled double disc debut in 2007, and by critical consensus it ranked among that years best. Harp Magazine named Future Clouds and Radar Debut Artist of the Year and called the release the 4th Best Record overall. Musical vision continued to emanate from the group who released their follow-up recording "Peoria" in November of 2008. Where the first album showed Harrison as the central figure in a large musical cast, FC&Rs latest offering found the core band focusing their kaleidoscopic vision into a single cinematic narrative about mortality. Flanked by keyboardist Hollie Thomas, bassist Chris Gephart, longtime associate and drummer Darin Murphy (Cotton Mathers Kontiki), and gifted multi-instrumentalist Kullen Fuchs, Harrison stays true on "Peoria" to his genre-bending eclecticism, leading the journey through a maze of fuzz-box vocals and ethereal keys. Blurt Online recently listed Peoria 5th Best Record of 20008. FC&R performed in SXSW 2009 and then took the rest of the year away from the spotlight after keyboardist Hollie had a baby (only 6 days after the showcase) FCR returned to the stage a year later performing in SXSW 2010 in support of Brooklyn based chanteuse Nicole Atkins whose much anticipated second release Mondo Amore (Razor and Tie) scheduled for January 2011 and contains 5 co-writes with Harrison.
Meanwhile FC&R have been busy recording a new music for 2011 and will be touring in support of that release - dates as yet unannounced.

What others are saying about "Peoria":

"Peoria" is emotionally powerful.... uniformly beautiful, surrounded by arrangements of complexity and depth..... 34 minutes of meditations on pop music possibilities"
- No Depression

"Spine tingling pop wonder.... In a perfect world the government's $700 billion bailout package would include buying a copy of Future Clouds and Radar's sophomore album Peoria for every man, woman and child in America... one of the most promising American bands of the new millennium"
- Amplifier

"...smart, carefully crafted.... art rock compellingly embellished with psychedelic tinges and pop swirls"
- Pitchfork

"... like Pink Floyd interpreting William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood." Yet even when expounding on existential ideas or drifting into the ether, Future Clouds and Radar always radiate with transcendent splendor."
- The Austin Chronicle

".... masterful craftsmanship... melodies flow....Harrison's voice, ever expressive, remains one of the best in current pop music ( as it has been for more than a decade, if you've been paying attention): he sings a ballad like nobody else alive."
- 30 Music

"From avant-garde jazz to cleanly infectious power-pop, it is remarkable how Harrison and co. are able to conjure up such a fascinating sound so consistently."
- Obscure Sound

"Sit down, turn off the cell phone, and spend some time with it. Faith will be rewarded. For Future Clouds and Radar existentialism and ecstasy go hand in hand."
- Blurt Online

"There is no excuse to ignore Peoria, an urgent compact package of orchestral vision...Peoria is where the heart meets the mind, where the melody and the beat converse splendidly, where the songs tell the listener to open up."
- Austin American Statesman