To the Future, Islands

14 Apr

I’ll admit I only found out about Future Islands because they were opening for Dan Deacon on his tour last year, but they caught me off guard and blew me away. A 3-piece “new wave” outfit from Baltimore, their set started tame: synths, bass, kick drum….but then got crazy when a dancing mad man started belting out “beach foam baby, be my baby” like the Black Francis of (new) new wave … Needless to say, I was pretty excited to nab an early copy of their new album In Evening Air.

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The new album wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Aren’t you guys my new wave pixies? Not quite…things are toned down a little (unlike their live effort, look at this guy). But you know, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. While there’s no “Beach Foam” on here (though “Tin Man” comes close), songs like “Walking Through That Door” and “Long Flight” take a different approach, passing up on all the screaming and whatnot. The vocals are more like Ian Curtis without the reverb… But these songs coast along effortlessly, and that’s what Future Islands are all about.

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In Evening Air is a “prettier” record than I thought it was going to be… its title track is a minute of synth imagery… However, towards the end of the album, “Vireo’s Eye” gets pretty epic, lending itself to their live act. You can hear the madness in the vocal, but its missing…umph factor, and that’s the only real complaint I have about the album. The production is a little too round at its edges. Maybe the live Future Islands I know are just tough to capture on record or are just going for a different angle in the studio. I don’t know. But going back to Ian Curtis, you can hear a lot of Joy Division on the record, and there is a strange melancholy across the board… You might connect to some tracks on here and not really know why…and that’s okay. Like the album or not, I’d recommend catching these guys when they come around (they put on a strangely captivating show you can dance to), and if you’re in New York, I’ll see you at Death By Audio May 1st

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Future Islands – Long Flight

Future Islands – Tin Man

Click Here For Full Album, “In Evening Air”

And in case you missed these, yeahD’s got you covered:

Future Islands – Beach Foam

Future Islands – Flicker & Flutter

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