Thrill Jockey has re-issued a few of Future Islands’ releases now and if you’re here, you probably have seen the Letterman video of their kinetic performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” – if for some reason you haven’t, go watch it right now by clicking on this sentence. Sam Herring and company have really blown up in the past few months, and for good reason, so don’t count on this being around for too long. This 12″ has been out of print for a while, so grab a copy while you still can – it’s Future Islands’ debut on the label and there’s no quantity specified.
The intro track, “Tin Man,” showcases what Herring can do with his voice, where he rides the line between guttural and polished – it becomes humorously posh and it pretty much remains that way the rest of the EP. After you hear Herring’s voice and the band’s sound once, you’ll be able to recognize it without fail in the wild. Check outÂ In The Fall below via the Spotify stream and see what you think of it. Cheers!
Too many bands in the era of buzz and the blog are taken before their time. The spotlight hits hard and finds a group who has not yet developed, not yet put in the work to find their sound and hone it and make themselves better, and just as quickly theyâ€™re gone. Future Islands are not one of those bands.
J Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion and Samuel T Herring have been making music together since 2003, and as Future Islands since 2006, putting in the work. Formed as college friends in Greenville, NC, Future Islands relocated to Baltimore after becoming friends with Dan Deacon, an early and avid supporter of the band. Theyâ€™ve released a handful of CD-Rs, tapes and limited vinyl releases, and their debut album Wave Like Home came out on UK label Upset the Rhythm in 2008. Theyâ€™ve toured extensively in the US and Europe, including the Baltimore Round Robin tours and opening for and performing in Dan Deaconâ€™s large ensemble.
For their effort, Future Islands have mastered their style, which Rolling Stone describes as, â€śadding punishing heft to simple pop melodies, making blippy electropop sound oddly confrontational.â€ť Future Islands calls is â€śPost-Wave,â€ť taking in part from the emotional fragility of New Wave and coupling it with the power and drive of Post-Punk. Their upcoming Thrill Jockey debut LP, In Evening Air, will be their first proper and timely US album release.
Future Islandsâ€™ music is spearheaded by Welmers, whose layers of synths and drums create the landscape for Cashionâ€™s punching-strum bass guitar, that pulses and fights, creating noise and bliss. Herring, who has been called â€śone of the most magnetic frontmen in indie rock,â€ť finds his space in between. Carving through the music, at times, with a whispering croon, and at others, with a deathly wail.
In addition to Future Islandsâ€™ collaborating with Dan Deacon for his large ensemble and Round Robin tours, their upcoming releases were recorded with the help of Deacon producer Chester Endersby Gwazda. The title track on In The Fall features the vocal assistance of the fantastic Katrina Ford (Celebration) and was written weeks after having finished In Evening Air. Katrina's parts were recorded just after a horrible blizzard in Baltimore and Chester had made an igloo in his front yard. "Virgo Distracts" was written back in 2007 and briefly played on tour in 2008, while "Awake & Dreaming" was written in the first batch of songs that would become In Evening Air but didn't really fit with the other songs on the record.
In The Fall will be followed by the May release of their album, In Evening Air. Future Islands also recently collaborated with No Age and Victoria Legrand of Beach House for tracks on their Post Office Wave Chapel 12â€ť on Free Danger, and the EP features remixes by Javelin and Pictureplane. Future Islands will be touring the US very heavily around the album release, including more than six weeks of US shows in May and June.
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