It's tempting to view Future as a mea culpa. Eliza Shaddad just might lull you into such an assumption, and she's more than content to leave you there, if only to occasionally jerk you out with a bracingly raw moment of clarity. Possessing an often unassuming presence, Future may be her debut, but Shaddad is already a master of the fakeout.

She wields an almost garage-like blend of rock like a blunt instrument. Bedding the listener in a thick, gripping barrage of guitar noise, Shaddad allows us to think, hey, this just might be the sort of indie rock fit to crack a beer to.

In reality, Future was a laborious birth, and readily betrays it. Two years in the making, Shaddad enveloped herself in recording, digging into every cranny with her songwriting. The album's title itself is somewhat deceptive: she spends most of her time coming to terms with her past. Much of the emotions at play here deal with a presence long valued, now gone. Likely a lover (this writer boldly assumes), few albums in recently memory have more honestly dealt with the simultaneous need for someone (and something) new alongside the endless longing, and caring, for who and what came before.

Refreshing indeed is the lack of a vindictive or grieved air, Shaddad instead largely keeping a sadly level head, pitying the person she had to grow beyond without being insulting. 'This is My Cue' directly deals with this, Shaddad aching out, "Darling, I've been turning into someone new/ And although I know that we could keep on, something's tell me we're through..." For anyone who's been on either side of that equation (or, hell, both), it'll hurt, but always ring true.

So why is this thing called Future, anyway, you ask? While so many of us flee the past as if we're stuck in a bad slasher, Shaddad is owning up to the pain she's caused, aware she needs to be, at the least, "OK" with herself before she blooms any further. She actually put it quite plainly on album opener, 'White Lines': "If I hold straight and true/ I can drive straight into the future."

If that wasn't enough, brief closer '(To Make It Up to You)' makes it all crystal clear. While much of the album finds Shaddad either embracing her fledgling, growing idnetity or on the gently defensive, by record's end, she's truly ready to move onward, and views the person she's left behind one last, tragic time. "What can I do to make you happy? What can I do to make it better?" It's more than a tad crushing, and displays the power already possessed by a still young singer. Here's to what the future holds.