New bilingual album from Chicago’s Future Hits – “Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre”


Indie musician and Chicago Public Schools teacher Matt Baron and his band Future Hits have a bilingual treat in store for both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking kids, families, and teachers with the release of their second album, Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre, on Cinco de Mayo — May 5, 2015.

Future Hits performs music that is heartfelt and fun (yet secretly educational).  Every song on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempreis presented twice, once in English and once in Spanish, so that the album is welcoming to speakers of both native tongues, as well as those learning a second language.

Chicago music fans know Matt Baron as a fixture on that city’s indie music circuit with his group Baron von Something.  However, in his “other life” as an ESL and Spanish bilingual teacher, Baron has been writing Common Core and State Standards-aligned songs reinforced with correlated activities and assessments for his students since 2011, embedding creativity and culture in the classroom through fuzzy, poppy tunes that are fun and engaging while teaching literacy and promoting social/emotional learning outcomes.

The band, Future Hits, in turn, developed as a synthesis of Matt Baron’s classroom and indie rock experiences. Teaming up with Emma Hospelhorn (Ensemble Dal Niente), Ben Sutherland (The Machine is Neither), and drums-and-piano virtuoso Nick Kabat, Baron has, in three short years, brought Future Hits to a place where the band has been likened to Yo La Tengo, Jonathan Richman, and even The Velvet Underground!  Wrote Jake Austen in Roctober Magazine of FutureHits‘ 2012 debut album, Songs for Learning, “Every child I play this for is simply entranced, and my inner kid is sold.”

Special guest on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre is indie rock superstar guitarist David Vandervelde, who graces half the album’s content with his dynamic playing.

The opening number on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre, “Morning Ritual,” acknowledges the stabilizing and comforting value of routine in a child’s life.  The simple declarations of the song’s melodic lines are almost Whitmanesque, with the lyrics always maintaining a prominent place in the balance of the ensemble.  The final track, “Bypass This Winter,” extolls the value of daydreams to take oneself to another time and place when a break is needed.  The ten songs in between ebb and flow, with a pleasing variety of energy levels, while the lyrics comment on a wealth of everyday experiences.

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, as state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

We received a copy of this CD and found that it is lively, fun and my favorite is “A Pet To Protect Me.” Maybe, it is that we just adopted a rescue puppy but my son and I like this song. Our puppy even listens to it! I like that this is great for a variety of different ages. Highly recommend!

Visit the Future Hits website HERE.
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Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this featured post.

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