Six years ain’t a hell of a lot of time, but Futurebirds have filled ‘em with a whole lot of living. Laying down their shoe-gazing country, harmonious psychedelia, and barnstorming, ragged rock both on record and in person, the Athens-based band presents a delicate balance on Hotel Parties, its third full-length record that explores the toils, joys, and struggles exposed by six years doing any one thing so intensely. Arriving a full two years after the band’s 2013 breakthrough, Baba Yaga, Hotel Parties presents a series of dualities. Loving something and letting it go. Pining for success and trying to staying true to yourself. The beckoning call of road and the comforts of home. As a result, says singer-guitarist Carter King, the LP represents Futurebirds’“most concise effort to date all around, like some sort of accidental concept record.”Over the course of these three LPs, two EPs, and one live record, people have come and gone, yet Futurebirds seem to stay. Some things came out as they liked and some pills have been bitter. But sometimes, six years just ain’t enough time to tell.

Luke Cunningham and Friends

In today’s vast and cluttered music landscape even the most talented of songwriters can sometimes find their battle cries reduced to whispers. Yet for Charleston-based songwriter Luke Cunningham it’s the outright refusal to be lost in the shuffle—as well as his energetic live show and acclaimed songwriting—that have the southern troubadour currently beating the odds while giving independent artists a little hope to hold onto.

Though he has spent numerous years on the road touring alongside national acts such as The Fray, Gin Blossoms & Donavon Frankenreiter, ultimately it was the songwriter’s release of his solo debut Heart Pressure in 2012 that first forced music fans to sit up and take notice. The emotionally-charged rock/Americana record—as well as its ten story-driven songs—was a swift and sweet sucker punch to the Carolina music scene; a wake up call announcing both Cunningham’s arrival and mission to return the focus of songwriting back to ‘the song’ itself.

Hailed as “a triumph fraught with emotion” and “a welcomed reminder of what songwriters used to be” the response to Heart Pressure and the full band’s live performances soon left little question as to whether Cunningham was merely just another ‘flash in the pan.’ By year’s end two songs from Heart Pressure (For The Best and Songs About California) had become top-requested songs on Charleston’s The Bridge 105.5FM (WCOO) and the album itself was named by Charleston Scene Magazine as one of the ‘Top Five Local Albums of The Year.’

Cunningham’s commitment to his craft didn’t go unnoticed either. Nominated ‘2012 Songwriter of The Year’ by Charleston City Paper, he was also chosen by the American Society of Authors & Composers (ASCAP) as one of only 14 nationally-selected songwriters to be part of ASCAP’s 2012 Lester Sills Songwriters Workshop in Los Angeles.

Despite the success of the album and rush of praise from both regional and national music outlets, Cunningham and band are quick to admit they’re not keen on reveling in the past. For them, writing songs and making new music remains forever paramount. The Winter of 2013 finds the band back in the studio in Charleston SC tracking material for an upcoming album that is tentatively set for a summer release date.

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