When experimental electronic producer Louis Futon left his native Philadelphia for Los Angeles, he found himself bouncing between friends’ couches for a year. The experience was one of the best times of his life, with each day bringing new adventures and spaces to explore. And yet, despite the discontinuity of settling into a new city, Futon perceived a common thread between every new place he stayed: he always felt at home. Now, Futon is unleashing Couchsurfing, his sophomore LP that seeks to pay homage to that journey by creating a coherent vibe across a spectrum of sounds.
Seamlessly weaving together elements of funk, soul, and hip-hop, Couchsurfing ultimately expands on Futon’s first album, Way Back When, by imbuing the producer’s typical buttery productions with a newfound eclectic spirit. The project is colorful and free-flowing, embedding its diverse instrumentals with a playful attitude.
Futon exemplifies this approach through one of the project’s singles, “Turn It Up”—a collaboration with R&B singer Lavance Colley that spawned out of a jam session between the two musicians. “Turn It Up” sounds like classic George Clinton-style funk filtered through sleek, contemporary production, with Futon’s luminescent instrumental breezing in tandem with Colley’s angelic delivery. These elements are then compounded by syncopated drum rhythms that provide the track’s erratic groove, while blaring horns and ear-grabbing vocal harmonies lavishly fill out the mix.
There’s also the album’s leading single “Ron Burgundy,” yet another excursion into funky, dynamic instrumentation, and the subsequent double single, which includes the tracks “Amoeba” and “Re-Up” (ft. Armani White) and explores experimental electronic sounds and hip-hop, trap-infused production.
Outside of the project’s previously released tracks is “Northeast,” a collaboration with Portland-based producer quickly, quickly. The track fuses quickly, quickly’s knack for mellow, atmospheric beats with Futon’s attentive, rich songwriting. Yearning string samples bleed in and out of electric guitar licks, ethereal synth tones, lo-fi drums, and an 80s-style saxophone solo. It’s a magnetic, intimate track within an album that focuses primarily on delivering satiating ear-candy and grand, stylish instrumentals. It is also then representative of Futon’s mission as a whole with Couchsurfing.
On his new album, the producer brings to the table a varied, genre-bending take on electronic music by blending styles and eras, working with excellent collaborators, and threading it all together into a cohesive project via his potent vision.