Future Islands Music Review

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Future Islands Music Review


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Future Islands was formed in North Carolina in 2006. Since then they’ve had four albums and a handful of singles.

Their songs rely strongly on synth and bass with very little to no guitar. That can be a nice change for someone who listens to heavier music, but Future Islands’ songs do lose some dynamics in their simplicity.

The songs themselves sound very simple too; most songs have something that feels like a climax in the middle or toward the end. Many, but not all, of Future Islands’ songs have a short intro, a middle, and a short outro. There doesn’t seem to be a conflict, climax, or resolution set up like many songs and stories have. That isn’t a bad thing; it makes their songs very easy to listen to.

Their easy-to-listen-to songs are very personal for the members of Future Islands. One song, “Back in the Tall Grass,” is about a creek that one of the singers would play in as a kid on his way home from school.

In a live recording, this singer talks about their song “Sun in the Morning” saying, “This is a song about those simple times when you’re in love. I think that when we lose love we sometimes forget about these things. There’s something special about waking up to the creak of the bed, and watching your lover rise to walk from the room to make you a cup of coffee, you know?”

While most songs are either about love or about the heartbreak that follows, here is a song written about remembering the little things that love gives people.

Many bands are strictly studio bands; those are bands that have great recorded songs, but when they perform live they either miss energy or they sound too different from what they previously recorded. I admire this band because they aren’t a studio band. From what I’ve listened to when they perform live, everything they’ve recorded is something that they can do live. As far as bringing energy, they bring just the right amount of energy for the style they play. Two things stand out to me about this band live: since their start in 2006 or so, they’ve only cancelled two shows.

Second, in a performance in Washington D.C. recorded last May, their lead singer Samuel Herring had been fighting tonsillitis for over a week.

Despite having tonsillitis he still brought all his energy to the show and he still sang like nothing was wrong.

There is only one problem I have with the band’s live recordings: occasionally singer Samuel Herring will make a growl or something that sounds close to a Cookie Monster impression while singing. That doesn’t happen too often, but it throws me off when I’m listening to them.

I like music that’s a little more chaotic, but Future Islands is a good band with music that’s easy to listen to and is written about positive things despite the lack of chaos.

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