Also known as the band with the funny dancing man, Future Islands will forever be stuck in heads because of *that* Letterman performance. This is their second album since Singles, the album off the back of the exposure. It shows the band still pursuing their retro synth pop sound but with one main alteration - they now have an actual human drummer in tow.
Limited Vinyl LP £19.69 4AD0270LPE
Limited edition, indies only Petrol Blue coloured vinyl LP on 4AD.
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Vinyl LP £15.75 4AD0270LP
Black vinyl LP on 4AD.
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CD £10.06 4AD0270CD
CD on 4AD.
Despite their name, Future Islands have always been a band who mine the past. Their music has always evoked a pained sense of nostalgia, a yearning for what was. It’s synth-pop, a genre that will never not recall the blasted 80s. Is it ironic then, that for the bulk of their career I have been yearning for them to reach back to the heady-highs of 2001’s ‘On The Water’?
That’s not to say the band has changed a lot, in fact that may be the problem. Sonically Future Islands haven’t really developed at all in the last 10 years, sticking religiously to their (admittedly potent) combo of synths, bass, drums, and Samuel Herring’s ludicrously earnest voice. And like yeah, it still sounds good. The way the bass bobs above and below the rest of the instrumentals like a bright orange buoy, the way the synths cascade in and out like peaceful waves. But it’s just all so familiar. ‘For Sure’ starts with a hard techno-ish bassline that sounds like the start of ‘Blue Monday’ before getting washed away by descending three-note synth motif that could have come off about 50% of their discography. They’ve even dropped one of their finer interventions into their own sound, Herring’s inexplicable death metal growl.
Despite all this, I can’t help but like ‘As Long As You Are’. Future Islands are very good at their thing, and as much as it very clearly apes 80s synth-pop, there’s no denying in sum they still sound entirely themselves. I just wish they'd given themselves some space to grow.
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- As Long As You Are by Future Islands
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