We didn’t cover the last awesome single from this beautiful band. That was a mistake. But luckily no one put us in blog jail so we’re still around, and they released another, and here it is.
Future Islands is a band I wish I’d discovered earlier. This North Carolina-bred, Baltimore-based trio manages to hit just about every referential sweet spot without feeling at all contrived. Their music seamlessly combines the sensual pleasures of electro-pop with the emotional resonance of good old fashioned rock songwriting. It’s at once ambient and energetic, romantic and introspective, meditative and anthemic. Sam Herring’s arresting vocals, equal parts Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen, provide the compelling lead presence often missing in other electronic-leaning acts. The instrumental backdrop evokes the simple, bass-driven melodicism of New Wave artists like Modern English and New Order, as well as the glimmering, spacey atmospherics of Superhumanoids, Blood Orange and Destroyer. Thematically, as Harris puts it, Future Islands writes “songs about love and loss and nature, just real things.”
“A Dream of You and Me,” released concurrent with an epic Letterman performance, follows on the heels of the equally great “Seasons (Waiting On You).” Both tracks have the feeling of a band on the verge – or in the middle – of a creative and professional breakthrough. Earlier this year, Future Islands — who formed in 2006 — signed to venerable British label 4AD (Ariel Pink, Bon Iver, Grimes, The National) on the strength of the as-yet unreleased album, which had been funded “completely out of our pocket and the pockets of our friends who helped out because we were running low on dough.” The album is called Singles, Harris explains, because “for me, it’s a confident, arrogant title. Every song’s a single and can stand along on its own.”
“We basically put all of our marbles in the pot and hoped for the best.”
Future Islands’ Singles is out March 25th on 4AD.