Louis Futon has shared a genre-bending new album called Couchsurfing which smoothly combines funk, soul, and hip-hop into an exciting concoction. Beginning as a bedroom producer, he built a dedicated fanbase over a series of strong releases, eventually garnering over 150 million streams across platforms. For his latest record, he drew inspiration from his migration from his home city of Philadelphia to Los Angeles, where he wound up staying with friends for a year, sleeping on couches. This new LP is an homage to his journey of relocating out west, one that brought many new challenges and adventures.
Couchsurfing makes for an eclectic listening experience, with the optimistic, 80's-influenced bounce of "Shogun" and the lush, tropical aesthetics of "Something Strange is Happening" forecasting the record's sonic range. Tracks like "Miami" and "Funk Off" bring in infectious synths that have more of an electronic feel, mixing interestingly with the otherwise more organic production. "Tie Die" is remarkably psychedelic, expanding upon the previous tracks to create a kaleidoscopic, textural soundscape. The Armani White-assisted "Re-Up" is undeniably catchy, taking on a slightly more aggressive tone by bringing in sliding 808s and rawer percussion. Another good example of Futon's wide scope as a producer, this track shows his ability to craft a banging hip-hop beat that is immediate and powerful. The project wraps up with a few standout tracks- including the spacey "Ms. Intentions", an album highlight that is centred around shimmering synths and heavy percussion. "Northeast" and "This Beautiful World" finish the LP on a more sentimental note, featuring gorgeous synths that drift over top of engaging grooves.
Overall, Couchsurfing is truly a sonic adventure, representative of the journey Futon himself undertook that inspired it. With a diverse helping of different influences ranging from electronic to hip-hop to funk, this album kept us on our toes throughout. As the tracklist progresses, you never know what you might hear buried within his instrumentals. It is this unpredictability that makes Couchsurfing a highly engaging listen, worthy of many re-visits.