“I’m not ashamed to admit I think about you a lot/ I’m not ashamed to admit I think about fucking a lot.” The hook in “Not Ashamed” is the most instantly memorable moment of Futo’s album Dog Dreams, as well as its most defining statement. Futo, a.k.a. 19-year-old Patrick Brick, is one of the strongest voices in Athens indie-pop, and he is hopelessly, clumsily in love.
With simple, haunting electronic instrumentals and painfully honest lyrics, Brick has crafted a dark and engaging love letter. It wouldn’t be fair to make the assumption that every single one of these songs is about fellow Athens musician Erin Lovett (a.k.a. Four Eyes). But the fact that Lovett is listed in the credits as “album muse” implies that the majority of these songs are pointed in her direction.
Brick can sometimes be sentimental to a fault. “Pocket Change” pushes a strained metaphor about how the sound of coins bouncing off of each other mirrors human connection; it’s a groan-inducing moment. However, outside of a few missteps, Brick’s insistence on tying everything back to the heart pays off.
There are many different ways to say “I love you” and from sweet to slightly disgusting, Brick is checking every single idea off the list. (The excellent title track frames the concept of finding appreciation for a lover within a story about coming across a bloated dog carcass while on a walk at a local park.) In the end, Dog Dreams is proof that sometimes bedroom-pop is at its best when there’s someone lying next to you. 4 out of 5.
Futo plays Flicker Theatre & Bar on Saturday, June 7.