Futura Free
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Futura Free

Kingston, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Rock Indie




"Album Release: "Reducer" by Futura Free"

Kingston-based electronic rock quartet Futura Free's latest project is the fourth album in the band's catalogue, following 2019's Unreal, 2020's acoustic version, and 2020's We Released a Song Every Week During Quarantine. The band describes their sound as part dream pop, part punk, part post rock, part shoegaze, and part electronic- altogether under the label 'experimental rock', thanks to the members' mixed bag of influences. The line-up includes Peter Luft on guitar and vocals, Gabriel Reeves on bass and vocals, Kevin Feeley on guitar, and Bobby Benevides on drums.

"Our sound is an upbeat, catchy backbone, overlaid with lush, reverb-laden guitars and surreal experimental elements," said Luft. "Radiohead is a big inspiration for our band, due to their constant boundary pushing with combining experimental elements into the production of their songs. The same goes for My Bloody Valentine, and Peripheral Vision by Turnover, as we find it strikes the perfect balance between ambient dream pop and upbeat pop punk. We’re also influenced by multiple mid-west emo bands, including Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, and The Front Bottoms, for the way that they incorporate catchy hooks with thoughtful lyrics into their music."

Visuals are a strong component of the band's marketing, "Aesthetically, we draw a lot of influences from glitchy 90s computer visuals, bright neon colours, and the vaporwave subgenre," said Luft. "We really leaned into it with the design of our album artwork, videos, and other visual stuff."

Futura Free starting writing Reducer in May of 2019. "Interestingly enough, it started out as an ambient electronic album, which was 90% complete before we basically started over from scratch in January 2020, with a more indie-rock focused sound," said Luft. "Since we had the freedom to shape the record as we wanted with no real budget or deadlines, we spent a lot of time deliberating on the direction the album should take. Clinton Baverstock from the band Headglow provided a lot of writing and production advice during this time."

The album was recorded and produced entirely by the band in their home studio, which allowed the friends to maintain their freedom to experiment creatively.

"As mentioned previously, there was an initial electronic version of the album that was pretty much complete before we shelved it and started over, which was a difficult call to make, but definitely the right one in the end," said Luft. "Producing this album was weird and time consuming, but so much fun. It was incredibly liberating to be able to break all the rules and experiment as much as we wanted, in order to create something truly unique and special."

Reducer shows Futura Free expanding their music stylistically, as they leave Unreal's sunny disposition behind and dive headfirst into darkness.

"Our previous album Unreal is a concept album about love, happiness, and fulfillment, and Reducer is the absolute antithesis to those themes," said Luft. "It delves into topics of depression, doom, and anxiety."

You can find two major motifs reoccurring throughout the LP, both exploring the bandmembers' fascinations with death and beyond.

"The first one is the notion of ‘the gates’, which is a loose metaphor for being able to escape the dark place you find yourself in, or a light at the end of the tunnel," said Luft. "The second motif is the idea of ‘falling forever’, which I was inspired to write about after reading the horror novel House of Leaves. It’s the idea of falling into an infinite void for so long that you lose all relative concept of anything around you, it’s heavy stuff."

Reducer's debut track, "Weapon", explores one of the more grounded concepts displayed on the project.
"It isn’t exactly more lighthearted than the rest of the album, but it does have one foot grounded in more tangible problems than what we will experience later on in the record," said Luft. "It’s about how dumb cosmic luck has afforded you every opportunity in life, and your failure to act on this insane privilege."

"Different Things" is about the large, intimidating world.
"This song is reckoning with how large and terrifying and indifferent the world is," said Luft. "The chorus has the line "Different things can be sad, it’s not all war," which is taken from the movie Ladybird, where the main character exclaims that people’s smaller problems matter too."

The third track calls out music fans who deny the shady backgrounds of their favourite bands.
"I wrote "Except For Me" about a musician who I used to look up to and admire, who ended up doing some terrible things to a lot of people, and how a lot of folks are already starting to forget those awful things and listen to his band again," said Luft. "It’s about the impermanence of everything, and the fear that nothing you do will matter."

"Optical Illusion" is about wasted potential.
"It's a song all about wasting the opportunities afforded to you in life, and also referencing something very sinister hiding just out of view, watching," said Luft. "It’s about slowly degrading as a person, while the world degrades along with you."

"Portal" finds the band coming to grips with past trauma, memories, nostalgia and the importance of insignificant events. Following up with "Falling Forever", this brief interlude allows listeners to take a breath before descending back into the album.

The seventh track on Reducer is described as the most brutal and hopeless song on the record.
"Blasts of noise and indiscernible sources howl in the background of "Landing Area", with the most defeated lyrics on the whole record," said Luft. "Lyrically, this is hitting rock bottom, the lowest of lows on Reducer."

"No Way To Know" takes the positive route.
"Somehow, miraculously, impossibly, it’s not over," said Luft. "It's a song about kindness and empathy, showing it both to others and yourself. It’s not exactly a victorious song, but the bad dreams are over for now and there’s comfort to be taken in that. We made it through another day."

Wrapping up the album on "Outside", Futura Free wanted to leave listeners with a happy ending after such a heavy listening experience.

"It's the end credits of the album, so to speak," said Luft. "A few simple lyrics about choosing to leave the house on a sunny spring afternoon. The journey we took to get to the end was harrowing, but it’s over. Time to relax, you earned it."

Although Reducer follows heavy themes, the band hopes their listeners take away feelings of hope. "The world is a scary place, and mental health problems can be cruel and senseless," said Luft. "However, there are people who love you and there’s always a reason to keep going, even when that feels impossible. As long as you’re still breathing, there is time to heal." - Sarah's Hotspot

"2020 retrospective with Reid & Jackson"

Our year-end roundup continues as Reid and Jackson dive into Miss Emily’s latest release, Live at The Isabel, and recap their favourite 2020 releases from Kingston-based artists, including Futura Free and many others who shared their new music over the year. - Kingston

"Futura Free gets ready for album release show"

Kingston band Futura Free is set to hold an in-person release show at The Mansion on Oct. 9 for their newest album, Reducer.

Doors open at 8 p.m. and there will be an entrance fee of $10. Audience members can also expect musical performances from Monach and Willy Nilly.

The Journal spoke with Peter Luft, Futura Free’s lead singer and lyricist, about the album and its upcoming release show.

Along with Luft, the band features Kevin Feeley on guitar, Bobby Benevides on drums, and Gabriel Reeves on bass and vocals.

Following the release of Reducer in June, Luft says the band is excited to play for a live audience and expects a night of positive, fun vibes.

“There’s a lot of built-up anticipation and excitement,” Luft said. “[Now] being able to get back at it with live music after the pandemic, there’s going to be insane amounts of energy.”

With Reducer, Futura Free takes its catchy songs and experiments by adding bizarre sounds to their music. Luft described the album as “catchy punk indie rock that has been infected with a spooky computer virus.”

While their previous album featured happy, feel-good songs about love and fulfilment, Reducer takes the band’s sound in new directions. The new album reflects bleak themes of mental health, highlighting a world collapsing around us.

This dramatic theme shift was intentional. Luft said he loves when artists’ albums distinguish different eras of their careers.

“I wanted to almost give a tonal whiplash between [the albums]. Thematically, the first record is very happy, and [Reducer] is the complete opposite of that.”

Much of the inspiration for Futura Free’s retro, neon aesthetic is drawn from a combination of synth-wave and cyberpunk music from the 80s, also pulling on elements from 90s dream pop and shoegaze. They cited Brockhampton as a modern influence, too.

“There are quite a few rock bands or guitar bands that only draw influence from older classic rock,” Luft said. “[Aesthetically,] we’re trying to draw influence from other genres, like pop and hip hop and stuff like that.”

The band is proud of self-producing their music. It has allowed them to get creative and “weird” without facing high studio costs.

“We live in an age where you can record your own stuff and it can sound pretty freaking good,” Luft said. “We can get really creative with it and get really experimental.”

Luft encourages artists to experiment and make music that excites them, regardless of any criticism they may receive.

“That thing that people say, ‘you need a lot of money or a lot of connections to make the cool music that you want’ is completely false,” he said.

“That’s a myth. If you have a song you want to make. In this day and age, you can just go out and make it.” - The Queen's Journal

"Futura Free goes from meeting online to playing onstage"

Three years ago, shortly after he’d finished university, Peter Luft packed up and left Thunder Bay, bound for Kingston.

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Not only did he leave his hometown behind, he also left the band he played in during his days at Lakehead U.

In fact, the only people he knew in Kingston were his partner and her parents.

So he placed an online ad hoping to meet some like-minded musicians.

“My favourite story to tell about the band is that we met entirely off of Kijiji,” said Luft, the singer of Kingston’s Futura Free, which plays a record release show for its latest album, “Reducer,” Saturday night at the Mansion.

“When you’re out of school and you don’t have a job and you’re in your mid-20s, making friends can actually be weird. I’m a really social guy, I’m like a chatterbox, so a social circle is very important for me. Music is actually the perfect icebreaker for that because anyone you meet over music you have a common interest, and it’s never awkward because you always have something to talk about.”

Luft, who was 23 at the time, stated in his ad that he liked indie music — he was focused more on pop-punk in his university days — and listed a number of bands he liked. When they replied, he would invite them over to his place to “hang out” rather than try out.

“I have this cool thing when I have a new Kijiji friend come over, and I can just basically be like a producer and ask, ‘Do you have a song you want to record?’” said Luft, who works as a software developer, and they usually did.

When Futura Free bandmate and fellow guitarist Kevin Feely replied to Luft’s ad, he said the two of them “clicked instantly” over their love of the “shoegaze” subgenre of indie music, which is “just like dream pop but you add some terrifying distortion or something like that,” Luft said.

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Drummer/vocalist Bobby Benevides and Luft, meanwhile, both loved the band the Killers and “really hit it off.”

“I say we are a Kijiji band, but Gabe didn’t actually respond to the ad,” Luft said of bassist/synth player Gabriel Reeves. “He had his own ad on Kijiji that I responded to. I think Gabe has some music posted that he had just made a few years ago, and I thought it was really great. We jammed and I asked him to be in the band.”

“Looking back, I’m shocked at how well it worked,” Luft summed up later. “I got insanely lucky. They’re really talented guys. It just really worked out.”

Futura Free put out a few records — the band members do all of the recording and production themselves — and started playing a few shows around the city. And then, everything came to a screeching halt when the pandemic pulled the plug on live music.

So without in-person shows, Luft and company dedicated themselves to recording a song a week.

“It was a cool gimmick, basically, because I wanted to see how long we could do it, and it was like an endurance test of creativity and patience and stuff like that,” Luft concluded.

“And I think a lot of really cool songs came out of it. It pushed me to try different things, and I think I’m a better musician and producer because of it. That was a really fun little project.”

Most of the weekly songs were half-finished ones, he said, and none of them made the new record.

That’s in part because Luft prefers to make records that are thematically and musically cohesive, and he likes the idea of doing a 180-degree turn from one record to the next.

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Whereas their last record was full of songs about being in love and being happy, “Reducer” is the flip side of that.

“It’s a little bit harrowing, and I really wanted to get that vibe across,” Luft said, “so both the lyrics — they’re very bleak and about mental illness, how the world is just crumbling around us, which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to — and the music matches that.”

Still, underneath the layered synthesizers and “glitchy” sounds, it’s still just four-chord rock songs, he said.

The band has been getting some encouraging feedback about the new album since it came out in June, Luft said.

“I was pleasantly surprised how many people took notice and how many people said nice things about it,” he said. “I had no idea what to expect releasing a record in the middle of a pandemic when you couldn’t have a show for it. I thought it was just going to fizzle out.”

Now that indoor restrictions have eased, the band is anxious to finally play live rather than livestream, as they did when the record was released in June. Performing is something Luft has loved since his first time going onstage when he was in summer “rock” camp back in Grade 9 in Thunder Bay.

“That was an absolute high I’ve been chasing ever since,” Luft suggested. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m a social guy, I love being the centre of attention, I’m definitely an extrovert, and I get my energy off of social interactions. Playing onstage, playing music that you wrote in front of your friends, is just like taking that social interaction and cranking it up to 11. It’s just really, really wonderful and super fulfilling. I love doing it. It’s my favourite thing.” - The Kingston Whig Standard


Studio Albums
Reducer (2021)
Unreal (2019)
Unreal [Acoustic] (2020)

Compilation Albums
We Released a Song Every Week During Quarantine (2020)

Be Careful What You Get Good At (2019)
Put Trash Where It Belongs [Split with Headglow] (2020)

Scared [Tragically Hip Cover] (2019)
Cosmonaut (2019)
Stranger (2020)
O Holy Night (2020)



Having just moved to a completely new city without much of a plan, Futura Free was started by Peter Luft in a makeshift studio space in his girlfriend's basement. Initially, the end goal wasn't entirely clear; Peter had just left behind his hometown and his old band, and had a collection of new songs whose fates were still undecided. As the Kingston summer drifted by, these songs would be broken down, rebuilt, demoed, rewritten, and mulled over extensively. As concrete ideas began to take shape, the recording sessions began and many late nights were spent tracking layers of spacey guitars, dreamy keyboards and a whole lot of experimental musical tricks that Peter learned about on YouTube. There was no deadline, no budget, and no expectations. Just a belief that these were solid songs and the desire to produce a lush, layered, and expansive indie rock record. 

Recording an album in the basement can get lonely, however, and Peter took to the internet to meet some like-minded musicians in this unfamiliar new town. It didn't take long for him to start collaborating with Kevin Feeley (guitar), whose background in writing shoegaze music was the perfect counterpoint to Peter's dream pop/punk background. The two soon drafted Bobby Benevides (drums) and Gabriel Reeves (bass), completing the shift from a simple solo basement recording project into something much more exciting.

Fall turned into winter, and suddenly it was 2019 and Futura Free was a fully-fledged indie rock band, confidently flying through the same songs that were merely ideas on a laptop four months prior. Shows were getting booked, new material was being written, and the band has dove headfirst into the Kingston music scene. It all happened so quickly; so naturally.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and indie bands were left wondering what to do, Futura Free refused to simply wait forever and do nothing. They started on a project so ridiculous that people wouldn't be able to ignore it: they would record and release a new song every week during quarantine. From April to August of 2020, Futura Free released a new song they had recorded in their home studio every Friday, totalling in 19 tracks or an hour's worth of material. It was the ultimate endurance test of creativity, songwriting, and production techniques, and also a completely insane experiment. Futura Free has no regrets about it. Some of the band's favourite songs were created during this song production marathon, and it was unlike anything they had seen any other artist do. Sometimes the trick is to do what everyone else isn't doing.

‘Reducer’ is Futura Free’ brand new sophomore LP. Where their 2019 debut album ‘Unreal’ was an honest and chipper concept album about love, self-fulfillment, and relaxation, ‘Reducer’ swings to the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. While equally as honest and ambitious, ‘Reducer’ shares no thematic resemblance to the former album; the optimistic attitude and romantic undertones are replaced with unhinged renditions of desperation, depression, and the ugliness that mental illness can wreak on the self. While still backed by their classic indie-dream-pop sound, Futura Free is sounding more jagged and experimental than ever. Peaceful chord progressions get interrupted by blasts of noise and reliable, catchy hooks are tinged with sinister and harsh experimental elements.

Band Members