Super Tuesday – ‘Future Tense’

The third album from Super Tuesday, Future Tense engages with a range of hooky power-pop, Americana, and rock, in addition to efforts in the more contemplative folk vein. The project is the moniker of singer/songwriter Alex Kisch, known for his work in the ’90s as part of Boston-based band Dirt Merchants. Lyrical explorations prove poignant, delving into social isolation within a tech-driven society, in addition to musings on death and mortality. These dark, compelling themes coexist enjoyably within a consistently melodic production throughout the album, releasing on March 8th.

“I Know Their Name” kickstarts the album with a no-frills, fun jangly rock charm. The title-touting refrain plays with an infectious yet subdued character, only slightly differentiating from the preceding verses in melody — though achieving a hypnotic accessibility in doing so. Guided by Voices’ sturdy rock sound is one point of comparison; the melodic appeal of “I Know Their Name” makes for an enticing start, overall. “These Passing Days” follows with a more dazed composure that fuses alt-rock and power-pop in a form reminiscent of The Replacements.

Future Tense enamors across an enjoyable range of tonal pursuits thereafter — from the acoustic-forward contemplation of “Slow It Down” and piano-driven solemnness within “Cliffridge” to the twangy rock anthem “Turn It All Away.” “Cliffridge” is especially magnetic, sending chills with beautifully wordless vocal layers and serene piano pulses to start — resembling a cross of Dennis Wilson and Robert Wyatt. The atmospheric production leads seamlessly to “Inside,” playing like an introvert’s anthem — “I think I’d rather stay at home today,” — with warming, acoustic-laden resonance.

In the more rock-ready spectrum, “Turn It All Away” compels with its hazy guitar twangs and replay-inducing central hook — asking “can I turn it all away?” in between the debonair guitar progressions. Like the opening “I Know Their Name,” “Turn It All Away” consumes on the benefit of meditative cohesion, rather than startling tonal twists/turns, and the result is one of comforting accessibility and a sense of familiarity.

“We’ll all be together at the Stephen Pollock Day Parade, walking hand in hand, sipping lemonade,” the vocals let out on the album’s finale, ending on a relaxed, jangly gem — finding a cross of folk and contemplative singer/songwriter introspection; it’s a fitting send-off to an album with an abundance of confident successes, melding a sense of comforting nostalgia alongside reflections of a modern world’s tumults and its impact on the human psyche.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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