December 19, 2006

Former Cotton Mather frontman Robert Harrison’s new gig: Future Clouds & Radar

Austin-based power pop band Cotton Mather made a splash on the scene during the ’90s with their album Kontiki, which has some truly lovely tracks on it – infectiously good ’60s flavored pop with sublime harmonies that hit that perfect spot in my soul. Per esempio:

Spin My Wheels – Cotton Mather

My Before And After – Cotton Mather

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Good stuff. The band was named after an especially foxy-looking 17th century Puritan minister, which makes them dang hard to Google, but NME once called them “almost the most exciting new guitar pop band since Supergrass,” and after releasing three albums they disbanded in 2003.

Now former Cotton Mather frontman Robert Harrison is back with his new band Future Clouds & Radar, who will release a self-titled double album of “polychromatic psychedelic art-pop” on the Star Apple Kingdom label (March 6). While similarly pleasing, this new stuff is completely unlike his days with Cotton Mather (who sound more like The Beatles/Knack/Oasis).

Listen to two other new tunes from Future Clouds & Radar on their MySpace, I especially like “Egyptian Cravat.” Oh, and this one here has ukulele, and is fantastic.

Drugstore Bust – Future Clouds & Radar


  • I love Kontiki. Close to perfection in my power pop loving mind. Their 2001 album “The Big Picture” is uneven, but still has quite a few tasty tracks.

    I didn’t even know they’d broken up!

    Phil — December 19, 2006 @ 11:56 pm

  • Thanks for posting about Robert’s new band…great stuff. I used to work with his wife here in Austin, and have followed his work for years. While Kontiki will always be a highlight of his for me, it’s nice to see that he is still producing good music, even if it’s in a different direction.

    Keep up the great work on the blog! I’ve been a fan for a while, but this is my first post. Really appreciate all of the effort you put into it.

    Eddie W — December 20, 2006 @ 12:24 am

  • yes we all love kontiki but while the big picture is no where as immeadiate as that fine album after quite a few plays it reveals itself as their finest album overall. thats my thoughts anyway
    mick d

    Anonymous — December 20, 2006 @ 8:25 am

  • Yes… I also want to give some dap for the brilliant Kontiki. I have long wondered what happened to Cotton Mather (because their old website hasn’t worked for years)… so thanks for the post!

    bryce — December 20, 2006 @ 9:31 am

  • Thanks for posting this. Unlike some of the other respondents, I knew that Cotton Mather had broken up and was wondering what Harrison was up to, if anything. Good to know he’s still in the biz. Hey, other respondents, do you know “Heaven’s Helping”? It appeared on the “40 Watt Solution” EP, and it is easily one of the best songs Harrison has ever written. Just a heads up for those of you who will want to track it down. In the meantime, Kon-Tiki is easily one of the best records of the 1990s. Love that CD.
    Barry, NYC

    Barry, NYC — January 5, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  • Just a note from your cousin Chris in Colorado. I have a 4 year old grandson named Robert who was born on what would have been my Dad’s (your Uncle Robert’s) 89th birthday.
    Good luck with your new band.
    Chris *aka Christy

    Anonymous — January 30, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
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