Exclusive: Futures Leaning Into A New Awakening On ‘Hills & Horizons’ LP

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DREAM Records pop/CCM group Futures is gearing up for the release of their new LP, Hills & Horizons on January 7th.  The 11-song album is a beautiful blend of pop, alternative and adult contemporary sounds filled with melodies of hope for listeners looking for a richer experience of God. Andrew Barlow, Mark Evans, Chloe Evans, Ryan Rolls and Danae Leslie all contributed to songwriting for this new record and Mark Griffiths and Andrew Barlow served as producers. In this TCB Exclusive, Futures describes their sound to new listeners and talks about how they are leaning into a new awakening on this upcoming LP.

First, please tell us a little about yourself and how you made the decision to record and release records through Influencers Church.
Danae: We are Futures – a pop/worship artist with band members across the USA and Australia. We all call Influencers home and serve on local worship teams across our 11 locations! Our church celebrates 100 years of establishment in 2022 and over the last few decades there’s been a really unique favor on our house when it comes to influence in the arts and entertainment sector…one of our worship leaders won the very first ‘Australian Idol’ in 2004 and Planetshakers (the youth movement and worship band) was birthed in our local youth ministry! We’re so grateful for all God has done in the past generations, yet it feels like the responsibility has landed squarely on our shoulders now to bring a ‘new sound’ to the Church and from the Church…Luke 14:23 says “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” It’s crazy to think that someone on the other side of the world can hear the good news, the message of Jesus, through the digital distribution of a simple song! We’re passionate about writing modern parables through the stories that songs tell, that connect a hurting world with the love of Jesus…that’s why we do it!

Congratulations on the upcoming release of Hills & Horizons.  It’s now available for pre-order.  How does it feel for it to come out soon?
Chloe: Thanks so much! Yes, we are super excited for this project to be released to the world. We feel so strongly about the messages on this album. From anxiety and mental battles to childlike faith and the goodness of God; these songs speak into so many different seasons and walks of life. I feel excited in my spirit to see and hear testimonies about what God is going to do in people’s hearts through these songs that we have prayed and poured into!

You will be releasing new music to radio, “Hills & Horizons” when the album comes out on January 7th. Can you share with us a little behind your vision for that video?
Mark: For Futures as an artist and more importantly, all the members on an individual level, this album has been an awakening. I think we can all feel something new happening; stirring just below the surface in Christianity worldwide. Isaiah 43:19 declares “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”. We aren’t saying we know exactly what it is or how it looks but we do perceive it and we are leaning into it with our writing and our sound. Music has played a central role in every great awakening throughout history. “Hills & Horizons” music video follows the whisperings of a new awakening from a dream all the way to the hilltop, with signal fires being lit all across the world. This is our journey, this is the kindred call inside all of us. This is the message of our debut studio LP ‘Hills & Horizons.’

What do you hope listeners take away from listening to your group’s new album, Hills & Horizons?
Mark: We were really intentional about the atmosphere that each song on this album creates. They say that music is the only thing that can invade the soul without permission. That puts a huge responsibility on us to pray through the purpose of every moment in every track. We believe the spirit of these songs breaks through depression, disappointment, discouragement and disillusion; literally changing not only how a person feels about their situation but how they see everything.

How has God been working through your music?
Ryan: This is a hard question to answer because I don’t think you ever really know the fullness of the impact that you’re making. We’re just trying to be obedient to what we believe God has asked of us in putting out music. That may sound a bit clichè, but it’s the truth. Here’s what I can say; these songs have changed our lives, helped us out of the pit, encouraged us to keep going, and have put language to some of life’s greatest struggles; and that’s our prayer for everyone who hears these songs as well. The feedback and stories we get from people who’ve listened through the journey have said that it’s done just that in them.  We’re responsible for the depth, and God is responsible for the breadth.

Which artists are you currently drawing musical inspiration from?
Danae: Ahhh I love this question because the answer is ever-evolving! I think as a band right now we’re listening to a lot of new releases, top 40 and ‘fresh finds’ style playlists for production and melodic inspiration…I personally have a lot of respect for pure lyricists like Julia Michaels, Sasha Sloan, JP Saxe and Taylor Swift. My 2021 Spotify wrapped results looked like a melting pot of pop, worship and singer/songwriter including a lot of Griff, LANY, Glades, Kari Jobe and SEU worship!

How would you describe the sound of your music to brand new listeners?
Chloe: I’d describe these songs as fun and faith-filled! This album sonically speaking is full of life and joy. It’s new, it’s fresh, we believe it’s different from anything out there in this space. We spend time intentionally creating together and we produce everything in-house with our two producers Mark and Andrew. This leads to a synchronicity between music and lyric that is tangible and an album that has a really strong identity. We pray people ultimately hear the thread of Who God is and what He’s done in every song.

What do we have to look forward to from you coming in 2022?
Ryan: We’re just getting started. Honestly, we’re sitting on so many songs right now, and I can’t wait for you to hear all of them. We try to never “turn off the tap.” We keep writing, keep collaborating, and do everything we can to stay in that grace zone of putting language and melodies together. You never know just how many new songs/albums may hit your playlist in the next twelve months from us.  All I’ll say is, buckle up, so much more to come.

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