Led by former King of Prussia frontman Brandon Hanick, Athens "spirit-folk" recording project/supergroup Future Lives also features members of Drive-By Truckers and Velveteen Pink, as well as violinist Annie Leeth and pop songsmith Nicholas Mallis, among others.
In 2017, the band dropped a debut EP, Mansions, and in November, it's set to unveil a proper full-length, Spirit House. Today, we're happy to bring you the new album's first single, "Huckabee," and an accompanying video directed by German filmmaker Margarita Leonore Göbel.
The song is dedicated to Hanick's good friend Mina Kim, a well-known Athens artist and musician who died late last year. Kim's artwork also appears in the video.
With its thoughtful string arrangement and sun-soaked Laurel Canyon melody, "Huckabee" manages to pay touching tribute without feeling weighed down by grief.
Here's what Hanick has to say:
Unlike most songs I've written, "Huckabee's" genesis was very literal—plucked right out of a conversation I was having with Mina Kim.
I was at home in Athens one evening, playing guitar on the couch, and sending voice memos back and forth with Mina in an attempt to get her to go out and see The Darnell Boys show with me. She was a bit hesitant to go out, as she and her boyfriend at the time were comfortable at home with a bottle of whiskey.
So I sent her a country-ish little musical line via voice memo to try to convince her—"What good's the whiskey if you don't see the band?/ What good is Arkansas with Huckabee and friends?"
I was mostly just trying to be funny, but Mina loved it and told me I should turn it into a song. So I did.
Before I had a chance to share the final recording with her, Mina passed on, leaving a hole in the universe that only love can leave.
Mina inspired the hell out of me and countless other Athenians. Through her art and energy. Through all of our collaborations and creations. Through just being an awesome, hilarious, visionary friend. Athens—and everyone who was fortunate enough to call Mina a friend—will never be the same.
Watch the "Huckabee" clip below: