Cocoa Futures share Big Time + Circus (Video)
Building a bombastic pop song from the bipolarity of one’s own creative insecurity is no easy feat, but on Cocoa Futures’ latest single ‘Big Time’, frontman and songwriter Greg Sanderson creates a vital and self-affirming piece of music. Reconciling the crippling melancholia of self-doubt with the strident pragmatism of self-belief, ‘Big Time’ is a beatific win for the latter. Infectious melody lines and a rich and minimal pop production style make for Cocoa Futures’ most immediately arresting pop performance yet.
Having started life as a two minute Ableton demo, the song was hashed out between Sanderson and producer Brendan Williams. Williams recorded the song’s cathartic Prince-esque guitar solo late at night through headphones whilst his children slept in the next room. Ultimately, ‘Big Time’ is a celebration of everyday triumphs: the triumph of the artist over his doubt, mind over matter, producer over parenting schedule; really, it’s a monolithic addition to the exciting pop oeuvre of Cocoa Futures.
Appropriate to Cocoa Futures’ general intent to produce infectious pop music that’s a little warped at the seams, the video to the London band’s recently released pop-soul gem, ‘Circus’, imprints an unsettling vision on a summer love story, like a feverish dream in a heatwave. Filmed by Sekou Abineri, it was directed by Danny Nellis and Wesley Gonzales, both of whom are renowned musicians and artistic innovators in their own right, and who have recently paired up as film directors. They explain their inspirations for the video:
“We were excited to have a summery song to work with in a time of inexplicably good English weather. We brainstormed our ideas of what reminded us of summer and we came up with English countryside and UK Garage, so went to juxtapose the two within a surrealist love triangle influenced by the work of Julia Davis. We basically shot a short episode of Neighbours in Kent.
“Be sure to watch all the way through as an unusual twist occurs in the final scenes, stemming from a recurring dream Danny had of JG Ballard-esque automotive erotica!”
The carnivalesque results star Cocoa Futures’ frontman Greg as the protagonist at the centre of this uneasy threesome, and although the steamy summer of 2018 has already been memorable in so many ways, this video for ‘Circus’ you will not be able to unsee.
About Cocoa Futures
In the autumn of 2017, Greg Sanderson, the frontman and architect of Cocoa Futures, was contemplating how best to follow up an acclaimed EP that had won his band enthused reviews and features (Line of Best Fit, Clash, CMU), an abundance of new friends and keen industry anticipation for what would be coming next. The previous 12 months had encompassed the release of the ‘Blue’ EP on Lost In The Manor records, several sold-out London shows (Sebright Arms, The Finsbury) and a rammed appearance at Brighton’s Great Escape Festival. But rather than further work the circuit with his assembled group of musicians, Greg made for the studio to write new material and further expand his tariff of warped-at-the-edges pristine pop nuggets. This period of prolific songwriting included such experiments as recording an album’s worth of material on a dictaphone, before the Tottenham-based, Scottish-bred singer emerged with a set of material to run by the Cocoa Futures rhythm section of Dave (drums) and Nick (bass). The next stage was finding a producer best-suited to draw the rich seam from Greg’s singular yet commercially inclined songs. Greg explains: “It was bit of a happy accident. I’d made a Spotify playlist called ‘drums sounds i like’ which had loads of GoGo Penguin tracks and a couple of Dutch Uncles tunes. I thought I’d research who’d made them ‘cos they sounded banging. Turns out it was a lad called Brendan in Manchester, so I dropped him an email and he was up for working together.”
So Greg, Nick and Dave spent a long weekend at Manchester’s Low Four studios, working with Brendan Williams (he of Dutch Uncles and GoGo Penguin fame, as well as notable others such as Makemake, Kiran Leonard and Koalas), completing six diverse yet sonically consistent tracks which will form their second EP due to be released in November. These half dozen thrilling pop moments, whimsical, catchy and fresh, produced with exacting attention to detail and dynamic, are sure to more than sate those who’ve wisely been keeping Cocoa Futures on their ones to watch lists these past 18 months.
See Cocoa Futures live:
Nov 16th: The Finsbury, London