reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
“Turning a thing into smaller, gentler things,” future star’s Celina sings on “smaller gentler things” — and this is a summation of what future star are achieving with the snapshots of love and life that make up cryorities. “short songs, big hearts,” reads their Facebook page. Of the eleven songs on the album, nine run at under two minutes, but all of them (even “no hook”) manage to pull you in with hooks and repetitions.
If often feels as though the riffs on cryorities have spurned organically out of spirited jam sessions — as though they are fresh and warm from the thrill of discovery. Riffs on the keys often tumble and tilt in repetition while Celina’s voice weaves around, pulling new melodies out like yarn from an unravelling sweater. On tracks like “tell me about your bad side” and “it’s been raining for a couple months”, this is addictive. But there is also strength in the melodies that aren’t as tightly weaved. The sweaters that don’t unravel. The self-aware songwriting and layered vocal edge to “karaoke” is catchy in its complexity. “drag me” leans more on the vocals than the keyboard hooks — the confession of sadness feels raw and personal.
Throughout, there remains a sweetness to these melodies. The big hearts of Celina and CB Ellis — the duo that makes up future star — are always present, even when the album dips into the sadness evoked by the name, or slows it all down with a saxophone (“smaller gentler things”). The first song, “all my friends pt. II”, begins like a variation on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It feels like an album finding its footing and succeeding through experimentation. Even “revenge fantasies”, with its darker tone, comes with the lilt of the voice as it rides the melody. It’s a hungrier track, but the revenge feels more accessible than overdramatic.
Observing life, paring it back to its patterns and melodies, and injecting a pop joy into the mix is how future star are mending the problems that might lead one to crying, shifting it off the list of priorities. This is the album to put on if your day is going south and you need a pick me up — because this big hearted duo is certainly willing to share some of their wonder.
Top Tracks: “karaoke”; “drag me”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)