Athens’ psychedelic/country/rock group Futurebirds will follow up their 2015 album Hotel Parties with a “two-part” album being issued separately as two EPs. Portico I will be released on November 4th, with Portico II to follow in early 2017.
The title comes from the name of a turn-of-the-century Baptist church the band happened upon in North High Springs, about 20 minutes from downtown Athens. Owned by Lee Moody, the building and 60-acre property immediately resonated with the band, who were searching for a space in which to work on pre-production for their next album. A large, very old graveyard surrounds the building, while the Apalachee River meanders along one edge of the grounds. Duly inspired, they dropped the pre-production plan and decided to record the entire acoustic-based album inside the church.
Portico I consists of four songs: one new original titled “Only Here For Your Love” and covers of songs by The Beatles, Sydney, Australia native Caitlin Harnett and Athens’ late, beloved Vic Chesnutt. The cover photograph – a black and white shot of a man in an open coffin surrounded by people, most of whom have their hands up and mouths open, while one particular man stands directly above the dead one holding a handful of poisonous snakes – was sitting on a shelf in the Portico’s library.
Futurebirds begin their next tour on Nov. 25th with at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse, with opening sets from fellow Georgia acts New Madrid and Tedo Stone.