Story by Allie Volpe
It’d be easy to peg New York quintet Future Generations as a postgrad band. Members of the electro-pop outfit met on campus at Fordham University, after all. But that was purely incidental. It would also be apt to label Future Generations as riding a wave of accidental success, since Eddie Gore, Mike Sansevere, Eric Grossman, Devon Sheridan and Dylan Wells all began their college education set on becoming businessmen, marketers, journalists. Instead, they found each other, an inspiration that music could be more than a hobby, and a distinctly sunny sound that helped garner the attention of New York label Frenchkiss Records.
It began in the dorms at Fordham, where a month into their first semester, Gore, Sansevere and Grossman formed a fast friendship based on an effortless ability to create together. Gore, who grew up in Nashville and played piano throughout high school as a way to pass the time, thought it would be fun to post his newfound band’s songs online. The music -- synth and hook heavy -- caught on. So they posted some more, eventually releasing an EP, “Polysun,” in 2014.
Through the school’s bolstering musical community, Sheridan had heard of the three young men from Sansevere, who was in another band with Sheridan.
“I had never met Eddie and Eric until junior year,” Sheridan recalls, “and I was standing in line to get tickets for a school dance and someone tapped my shoulder and I turned around and this strapping, young blond man was like, ‘Are you Devon Sheridan? I’m Eddie Gore!’ and I was like ‘Oh! Nice to meet you.’ I had heard he was a really great musician. He was like, ‘Yeah, our band needs a bass player, do you want to play in our band?’”
Their self-titled debut, out last July, is the culmination of four years of youth and life experience boiled down into 10 exuberant, synth-heavy earworms. Often bursting at the seams with bright guitar licks, twinkling key lines and dreamy choruses backed by ooh-ahs, Future Generations draws sonic similarities to the millennial brand of synth pop a la JR JR or Suburban Living. Lyrically, we hear Gore exploring his early adulthood. “I’ve got to find an answer / to this burning question / what will become of our lives / it’s my small obsession,” he croons on “Find An Answer.”
“Obviously, college is a big defining time in anybody’s life who goes and tries to figure out a lot of things about who you are and what you think and how you think and what you truly believe,” he says. “You develop certain relationships, you’re on your own. It’s a lot of new things you’re experiencing.”
Since graduating in 2015, life has been less about books and band practice, but more about logistics of living in New York City. They all have degrees, but work in bars and restaurants because of flexibility it gives them when touring. However, it’s the skills they acquired while in school that allow the band to operate like a small business: Gore applies his marketing skills to band ventures, Sansevere, the finance major, deals with the group’s income.
Even though much of the album was written in dorm rooms and common areas, sent back and forth via email when the band couldn’t be together, Future Generations succeed in remaining an accessible band, not heavily rooted in academia or campus life. Nowhere are the literary allusions or depictions of green lawns and white pillar buildings, but present are the intimate moments like the cold morning and the first hit of caffeine.
“I don’t yet have the confidence to have a ten chord change chorus with some crazy reference to some novel three people know about,” Gore says. “I don’t have the confidence to do that, but I choose to do what I know I can do well and stick to that.”