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Event DetailsTen Fé are Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan (songwriters and lead vocals), Rob Shipley (bass, vocals), Johnny Drain (keys, vocals) and Alex Hammond (drums).
Songwriters Ben and Leo returned to London from touring Ten Fé’s debut album ‘Hit The Light’ knowing something had changed - what had begun as a duo had evolved on the road into a fully formed band. Sold-out shows across the US and Europe, along with tens of millions of Spotify streams, had yielded a new-found confidence and a raw, emotional and expansive new sound.
The pair holed up in a derelict office block in Walthamstow resolving to write a simpler sort of song that would connect them to the songbook of their days busking on the London Underground. Their sophormore album ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’, which is due for release on 8 March 2019 via Some Kinda Love/PIAS is a poignant, uplifting meditation on everything that’s brought the band to this point, and all they’ve left behind in getting here.
Without losing the infectious pop of their debut, the songs off ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ seem to come from a deeper place with the two songwriters pushing themselves to be more vulnerable and honest. The Stones and Orbison influences can be heard woven into ‘Caught On The Inside’, Springsteen and The Cure into ‘No Night Lasts Forever’, and the deeply romantic, blissed-out Americana of their debut has been honed further.
Recorded in Oslo as a band with Rob Shipley, Johnny Drain and Alex Hammond—the friends with whom they had toured the first album—this album showcases the new sound. As heard in the first offerings, ‘Won’t Happen’ and ‘Not Tonight’, the band has matured and captured a more close-knit, lush sound of five people playing together in a room. Intricate CSNY-influenced four-part harmonies that were honed on the road fuse with the energy they captured in their live shows to create a sound that's anthemic, but rooted in personal chemistry.
On stage and off, the personalities of songwriters Moorhouse, more melancholic and purist, and Duncan, more impulsive and direct, are strikingly distinct. It is this partnership, and the tension of their differing traits, that dictates the record’s momentum; two distinct voices and song styles that tangle, release, and elevate. Contrast the sultry, measured mood of Ben’s ‘Echo Park’ with Leo’s candid celebration of new love, ‘Coasting’, the refrain from which—“I’ve only lost what I didn’t want”—should be an epitaph for the heart-on-sleeve, onwards-at-all-costs credo at the centre of the band’s vision.
It’s this frankness that binds everything together into a cohesive whole that, with co-production from Luke Smith (Foals, Petite Noir, Anna of the North) and mixing by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Amen Dunes, Florence & The Machine), helps ‘Future Perfect Present Tense’ find the sweet spot between the woozy drawl of War on Drugs and the taut melodrama of Fleetwood Mac.
Set 10 weeks to complete, it eventually took 10 months: from a winter in Oslo to a summer in London via writer’s block, eviction from their studio, and vocal exhaustion. The result is that Ten Fé have written a record about time: the time it takes, the time it took, the time yet to come. While the album's title alludes to the struggle between a fraught present and imagined future, it's the grip of the past—of the regret, but ultimately relief and lucidity it gifts us—that these songs dwell most upon. ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ is the sound of a band coming of age.
The band have just announced their biggest-yet tour of the UK, Europe & US in Spring 2019 to promote their new release.