Mike Doherty, bassist for Portland indie-rock outfit Future Historians, says what initially brought the band together was the songwriting of leader and primary songwriter Dave Shur.
“It’s Dave’s project,” Doherty says. “He writes about a lot of small things,” adding that Future Historians started as a “folk-rock thing but morphed into something more eclectic.”
The end result is a very Portland-pop sound: brainy, literate and a little nerdy in a good way. Think The Decemberists, Loch Lomond, Typhoon or Blind Pilot. Doherty says Blind Pilot singer Israel Nebeker is a close friend of the band.
Future Historians are coming to Eugene in support of the band’s third full-length album, 2014’s Portrait of Self. Doherty picks the track “Bus” as one his favorites. The song mixes indie, power pop, acoustic rock and a melodic sensibility that recalls The Kinks.
Elsewhere on the record, “County Fair” is a charming sing-a-long that rides a fine line between twee indie rock and pop perfection, showcasing a call-and-response refrain and a sweetly undeniable, wordless hook.
Throughout, Shur’s voice is familiar, like a singer you know but can’t place: fresh and contemporary, but comforting and vintage.
Doherty says Future Historians are excited to return to Eugene after several years. “Come down and have a beer with us!” he says.
Springfield pop rockers Edewaard join Future Historians 9 pm Thursday, March 5, at Sam Bond’s; $6. 21-plus.