future.exboyfriend | FXB | Self-Released

Local Review: future.exboyfriend – FXB

Local Music Reviews


Street: 04.20
future.exboyfriend = Tame Impala x Still Woozy ^ MGMT

Salt Lake City–based psych-pop trio future.exboyfriend has been teasing FXB for a long time, whetting sonic appetites with singles such as “Happy to Pretend,” “Molly” and “Hazy” since October 2020. Now, at long last, fans can stream the group’s entire sophomore album and gobble down the whole damn meal. 

Throughout FXB’s 43 minutes, frontman Tyler Harris (previously of Mojave Nomads and Ugly Boys) walks into a disco, takes a party drug, falls in love, falls out of love and repeats the cycle at least three more times. The band introduces this theme right out of the gate on “Molly,” the album’s first track: “You’re just like my MDMA / Dose of serotonin to the brain / My psychedelic acid trip / Got me thinkin’ I’m in love again,” Harris sings in the recognizable, nasal vocal tone that acts as the undeniable through line of his disparate projects. Since releasing the first full-length future.exboyfriend album, Party In a Lonely Head (2020), the band has grown from Harris’ first solo venture to a shared passion project with Isaac Paul (bass) and Joshua Arina (drums). Both members add necessary complexities that prove future.exboyfriend is ready for the big leagues. 

FXB is primarily made up of bold, sex-driven bops that are ready for windows-down radio play, but a handful of moments divulge future.exboyfriend’s softer side. For example, the lo-fi track “Tape Loop” pulls back the curtain alongside honest lyrics as Harris sings among layers of spacey synths: “Try to listen but there’s no way, not now / I should learn to think before I ever open my mouth.” He plays with vocal modulation throughout the record, and here it’s turned up to a level that might annoy me in any other context—yet, on this track, spiraling through a galaxy of intensely melodied regret, it creates one of my favorite moments on the album. 

The trio nods to successful indie pop outfits throughout, from the heart-wrenched, Night Moves–esque bridge of “Should’ve Loved You More” to the line “I’m not in love, baby / I’m just high,” a play on an Unknown Mortal Orchestra lyric in “Molly.” The expertly produced synth daydream “Feels Brand New” could probably be performed onstage by Tame Impala without anyone in the crowd blinking an eye. 

Throughout the album’s energetic rises and falls, Harris remains lovesick and under the influence. Sometimes it’s thrilling, as demonstrated through “Infatuation” (“A chemical new sensation / You’re mine, mine”), and sometimes it’s masochistically painful, as revealed during “Dead man” (“Hit me where it hurts / Come on baby, make my nose bleed / To make matters worse / Tell me that you love me”). Sometimes, like during the hyper-rhymed and ultra-groovy “Hazy,” it’s just plain fun.

The rock banger “Self Sabotage” throws caution to the wind and ends FXB on an energetic—if carelessly unhealthy—note. “I’ve been texting my ex / Having casual sex / Wastin’ all your time when I get lonely / Waking up, getting high / Now I’m too stoned to drive / Guess I won’t be working,” Harris sings before unleashing an in-your-face, explosive guitar riff. It’s delivered with a zeal so energetic that it could catapult future.exboyfriend right into the zeitgeist. –Mekenna Malan

Watch future.exboyfriend perform as part of our COVID-era Virtualized series:
Virtualized Solo: Future.Exboyfriend