Today, FUTURE KULT released the second single, Hound in a Storm, from their eponymous debut album, due out February 25 on Action Wolf Records/AWAL. The accompanying video, which premieres here, is a warped mirror of our current reality. Otherworldliness and intimacy collide in this beautiful, dystopian vision realized by director Hardey Speight (Black Lab Films) and as an overnight romance blossoms between two insectile, gas mask-clad dancers – Clara Rust and Iestyn James – in the abandoned, mid-pandemic streets of Cardiff.
Hound in a Storm is a sprawl of distorted synth thumps anchoring an intricate tangle of percussion and guitars. Sion Trefor’s improvised vocal oscillates between brazen confidence and devastating fragility – “I’ve always felt like a creature of opposites, like a dog barking into a thunderstorm, simultaneously terrified and belligerent, loved but disconnected from everything.” With a simple melody that hovers over a barren, jagged soundscape, the track encapsulates the global restlessness of humanity in early 2022: “I feel, I feel, like a hound in a storm.”
The initial spark of FUTURE KULT caught on in a remote river valley in Hidalgo, deep in the Mexican countryside. For three months in late 2020, film composer Sion Trefor and musician/art producer Benjamin Zombori left their respective lives in Cardiff and Berlin behind and set out to channel the music of the future. What they created, far off the grid, is the sound of everything, now.
Like a trip into a parallel musical universe, the nine tracks of FUTURE KULT are dark, mystical visions of a world coming undone. Unfolding in a mind-bending mass of mangled vocal chants, raw guitars, stark, whipping beats and driving harpsichords, the songs are thematically linked, describing a world in which we are all fighting a battle of retreat against overwhelming technological forces.
“When we started working on this record, we became aware that the world has become too complex to be fully grasped,” note Trefor and Zombori. “Surrounded by paranoia, tragedy, extreme tension and fractured hope, we wanted to create music that courses with everything we feel as humans living in the 2020s.”
With a visceral grip and suffused with mystical undertones, this is music that brims with images of fracturing empires and warping masculinity, war, addiction, heroism and doubt; it is uninhibited by desires to pander to algorithms, to appease platforms and the sycophancy of “content.”
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.