In a somewhat isolated pocket of the universe, somewhere along the lines of London, Brighton and Portsmouth, dwells a group divided; a gang of obstacle sailing reminiscer’s, who go by the name of FUR.
Addressing stagnancy in our present world, a place in which all the highlights you once experienced (headline shows at London’s ‘The Scala’ and sold-out stints throughout Asia), are but another memory in life’s locket, FUR, as with any soul with six strings and a taste for musical freedom, would be forgiven for indulging in life’s listlessness… however for Murray, Josh, Tav and Flynn, there’s been no rest, for the creatively wicked.
For what it’s worth, signing to Norway’s ‘777 Music’ in the Autumn of 2020, meant that FUR were able to secure their debut album on the tail end of the year; a spout of luck and gift of time, which enabled the group to sit-back and relish the respective freedom of recording with neither time constraints, nor pressure, to be anything but “a band at our own pace again”.
Learning to navigate the seemingly impossible task of banding together in a global lockdown would at first trip appear stalemate, yet three studios down and isolated rehearsals in their respective homes, resulted in something beautifully responsive in the form of the ‘Facing Home Mixtape’; a self-recorded “creative bleed” which attempted to combat “the lack of shows and lack of rehearsal rubbish”, by utilising energy that had been stored up, but not quite made the album cut.
One of the greatest insights in life, is the familiarity found in time. That ever-existing stamp in which art can simultaneously exist pre, present and post pandemic, resulted in an observatory hyper-awareness and desire to soak up life’s endurances, which has frequented FUR’s thoughts often. If the mixtape was a self-described “harmonious meeting of unintentional things” and wistful nostalgia, then it’s intrinsically adept that FUR’s subsequent debut album, is to be titled ‘When You Walk Away’.
Recorded at Echo Zoo Studios (Michael Kiwanuka, The Magic Numbers…), FUR employed the skills of Theo Verney on production and engineer Kristoff Skirl, both of whom were key collaborators in FUR’s earlier work. As children, J.M Barrie taught us never to say goodbye, “because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting”- and yet in homage to the murky waters post your early twenties, ‘When You Walk Away’ is evidently less an epic down memory lane- chasing the second star to the right and straight on ‘til eternity, and rather, a conscious move from a band who embrace collaborative development and the art of turning back, to aid the next big step forward.
It goes without saying that bubbling in a studio for thirty days would be enough to shield FUR (if but temporarily) from the abnormality of the world outside. Manifesting a sense of overstimulated awareness, like that first blink of light after a lunchtime cinema trip, resulted in an environment of “right here right now” recording, in which it became integral from the get-go, to release an album of “entirely new material” as opposed to an accumulated “mix-and-match”, of previously released tracks.
Whether it’s playing a Gibson SG, enlisting the skills of Mike Rowe (Mick Jagger’s key’s player amongst other accolades), or falling down the White Rabbit hole of The Velvet Underground via The Strokes in a flurry of influential digestion, FUR, are unquestionably a contemporary act, writing contemporary songs, for tomorrow’s music explorers; an infinite balancing act between present relevancy, and the traditional rock n roll of which they themselves, look up to.
2020 saw FUR create an interactive fan WhatsApp group and a Tik-Tok account- all as a “duty to provide entertainment or escape” to their ever-growing, and fiercely loyal audience. But what’s next? Their ‘Spring 2020’ tour, which’ll see FUR play the likes of Manchester’s ‘The Deaf Institute’ and ‘Oslo’ in London, was pensively rescheduled to November 2021, and a coveted support slot with Boy Pablo in September, will, if all goes to plan, further cement FUR’s statuses as purveyors of beautifully crafted showmanship.
Growing up may well be an awfully big adventure. FUR, despite their ‘Existential Crisis in G Major’, timelessly suggest that if the mystique of self-awareness is the key to critical acclaim, then transcending silver linings and effervescent learning curves are enough to turn a debut album from something deeply personal, to an intimately unified body of work.
Acknowledging the parallels between the historical significance of today’s climate, and the long-foretold pertinency of FUR’s biggest career step to date, do the group believe in fate? “There’s something looking over us- a natural development of patience and how we perceive things.” – a trademark consciousness which makes FUR the influential sweetheart’s, they’ve truly grown to become.