By Chase Kamp
While the Tempe History
Museum has been working
hard to chronicle the city’s
musical past in a forthcoming exhibit
of cherished local musicians, the
curators have also been celebrating the
sounds of today.
On April 26 the museum is
offering a concert featuring the soulful
psych rock of Tempe’s Future Loves
Past, a band that writes ambitious
concept albums packed with catchy
The free show, which starts at 7
p.m., will be in the museum’s recently
expanded community room, which
has already hosted such varied fare as
classical ensembles, country singers
and folk song archivists.
Future Loves Past, led by singer
and bassist Eric Palmer, has been
working its way around the Tempe
music scene since 2010.
The band’s dynamic debut fulllength
record, All the Luscious Plants,
was released last year, but Palmer
spoke with Wrangler News primarily
about the group’s ambitious Our Solar
System EP, an ongoing song project
that tries to capture the essence of
heavenly bodies above.
Palmer said he began writing
songs about planets and stars before
the band’s conception. Though the EP
was released digitally and on cassette
tape in March, he and his bandmates
are still compiling song ideas and
reworking existing tracks.
“There’s a lot to draw from in
mythology,” Palmer said when asked
about the inspiration for the series.
“You can use it as a vehicle for the
message you’re trying to convey.”
The EP begins, appropriately,
with “The Sun,” a shimmering funkpop
number full of light that sets the
template with bright melodies.
From there, the tracks explore
further out toward other planets and
This interplanetary concept was
even embodied in the mix. Palmer and
album producer Bob Hoag tried to
set each song’s musical landscape in
the right orbit. The bigger planets like
Jupiter and Saturn have huge drums,
“As the songs get closer to the
sun, it needs to be warmer,” Palmer
explained. “As we go farther away, it
needs to sound colder.”
The middle of the record contains
a number of extended ambient
interludes that Palmer recorded
at home, some containing sound
experiments like using toy walkietalkies
to create muffled feedback and
faraway sounds, the sonics of space
One such track, “Solar Theta
Soundscape”, is a 13-minute
transmission of relaxing binaural beats.
These waves are made in a process
that involves putting two different
frequencies into the left and right
channels, tricking the listener’s brain
into moving to a theta brain-wave
Though most binaural beats are
used to assist with meditation and can
be hours long, Future Loves Past kept
theirs at a brisk 13 minutes.
“You can put on headphones and
zone out on it,” Palmer said.
Though the music is ambitious
enough, Palmer also designs all the
band’s album art, going even further to
fulfill his wide-eyed vision.
“I want to create a whole
imaginary world to go into,” he said.
“Our first record is pointing you there,
but this next one is how it’s going to be
for Future Love Past, all-encompassing
April is “Made in Tempe” Rock
Month. Future Loves Past represents
an up-and-coming Tempe band with
the sound of soul meeting ‘70s rock.
Their sound borrows from all genres
and blends them together in a way
that’s easy to relate to and digest.
Performance at 7 p.m. Saturday, April
26. Free admission. 480-350-4311.