Track-by-Track: “Future Shine” by flor (2022)

Written by on June 9, 2022

The Oregon indie-pop quartet gives us the sound of the summer with their third studio album, “Future Shine”. After three years since their last album, Flor takes us on a journey of finding yourself and finally accepting where you’re at. It was released on May 6.

Album cover by Ashley Osborn and Tension Division

1. “24”

With breezy vocals, cynical lyrics, and upbeat percussions, the first track sets the tone for the whole album. With its use of snare, the song gives off major FMLYBND vibes. To introduce the LP, the chorus goes:

What a scene, there’s blood / There’s blood on the floor / On the floor and on the bed / On the bed to the door / Through the door, twenty-four / Twenty-four, twenty-four / Feel like that’s the year I didn’t care anymore

2. “Big Shot”

To stay on theme, the track is about wishing to be the greatest in music.

Look at them, they play guitar / They dress the part / Gonna be a star / I bet they drive a kick-ass car / Or a motorcycle to their own bar / I wanna have a slice of that sick confidence

From left to right: Kyle Hill (drums), Zach Grace (vocals), McKinley Kitts (guitar), Dylan Bauld (bass).

With the four original members, Flor were previously an alternative band called Sunderland. They released the album “Closer Now” in 2013, went on tour in 2014, and stopped releasing music under the name. The group reinvented themselves as Flor, released three albums, and recently went on tour with The Band Camino. In addition, the bassist Dylan Bauld produced Halsey’s debut album “Badlands”, and the band featured in Rolling Stone on the release day of “Future Shine”. No big deal or anything.

3. “Clouds”

Arguably the best track off the album, “Clouds” has everything you need in the perfect pop song. With the quiet intro slowly fading into a summery beat and the catchy chorus, it’s hard not to picture yourself sippin’ a margarita on the beach. Since the song tends to stray away from the overall theme, “Clouds” seems to stand out the most from “Future Shine”

4. “Come Over Now”

According to Grace, the group co-wrote this song with a friend. The track was originally about being afraid of the dark.

Seeing shadows, shadows in the room / The empty spaces without you / The picture on the wall of the beach you’re dreaming up

Unlike other tracks that talk about navigating adult life, “Come Over Now” names itself the most hopeful off the album.

5. “Conditional”

With a smooth, funky bassline and light vocals, “Conditional” introduces the calmer side of the album. Its sultry tone almost makes you forget the track is about leaving a complicated relationship.

6. “Gotta Do Something”

“Gotta Do Something” may be some of their best work. With its guitar and synth of The 1975 and energetic chorus, this track is hard to beat. The buildups are damn near perfect–the verses draw you in, preparing you for that explosive chorus.

Well you gotta do something / Wasting your life, just rolling the dice / Well you gotta do something / Won’t be young forever / Gotta get yourself together, you know

Not only does it define “Future Shine”, but it literally tells the story of Flor.

7. “Play Along”

The first single off the album, “Play Along” has that indie-pop sound Flor fans are familiar with. Heavily carried by drums, the song really lives up to its name.

8. “Skate”

Another great single off FS, “Skate” is clearly the song of the summer. This track will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day after listening to it just once. If this song doesn’t make you want to skate around with your friends while it’s sunny, then you’re lying.

9. “Take It Back Home”

After chillin’ to track eight, the band brings back the energy with “Take It Back Home”. Another drum-driven song, it’s a happier tune on going back to your roots.

Let’s take it back home / What do you say? / Maybe throw our own thing, kick it back home / Call all our friends / Who we already know are gonna get louder, are gonna dance harder

Photo by Cami Liberty

10. “Future Shine”

Coming close to the end of the album, the title-track eases it way in. It starts with a quiet intro with just guitar and vocals.

Brought into a crowd of younger faces / Get lost in the halls and conversations / Made too much noise and they lost patience / Still made the best of our situation

Some bass lightly comes as the song picks up.

It’s no fair / Living with the weight of what they’ve done / Gonna make changes as they come

The whole band comes together at the chorus.

I wanna be / I wanna be like the future shine high on the new horizon / Don’t wanna be like an old man looking for a hill to die

11. “The Way We Talk About a Song”

Wrapping up the album, “The Way We Talk About a Song” talks about humble beginnings, similar to track nine.

And the signs on the wall / Point to right where we started it all / In the mess we won’t come undone / If we’re all about chasing the song

The song ends with just acoustic guitar and vocals.

Overall, “Future Shine” is Flor’s best album yet. It tells the story of every 20-something looking for a sense of direction (fitting as a senior this year). It clearly has the band’s strongest work lyrically and rhythmically.

Flor is coming to Houston on Oct. 14 at Warehouse Live for the Future Shine Tour.

  • Phoebe Brooke

    I am a senior at UH majoring in Journalism with a minor in Marketing. My goal as a writer is show music's impact on our society. Besides music, I am also passionate about neurodiversity and mental health awareness.

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