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Future Islands - Far Field

It has been a number of year since the debut album of Future Islands. Hey have been touring since then and even played their 1000 show while they were on tour promoting their hit album, “Singles.” Practice makes perfect as we all say and they are no exception to the rule.

With their rise in popularity after playing on David Letterman, Future Islands began to make their mark finally into a more mainstream audience. The performance of front man Samuel T. Herring is one of the main draws to the band as his dancing is a reflection of the intensity of the music. His performance is a reflection of seeing Iggy Pop on stage of Ian Curtis moving to their own songs. With many people discovering the band as they released their fourth album, how does one follow up commercial and artistic success on a now full lit stage?

Instead of making themselves different from their previous releases, they dove into their barrel of sounds and harmonies to create something that sounds similar to fans of the band since its debut as well as new fans.

The band mainly stays true to their sound, even throughout their latest four albums, and this fifth one, “Far Field,” is no different. With sounds from bands like The Cure, Ah-Ha, and New Order, it is essential to stay true to the reverence and influence of those artist by not overusing that now classic sound.

Future Islands does just that here by being a bit more careful with their tracks and keeping cool as the album plays. Unlike, “Singles,” the tracks here sound more deliberate in the sense that they invoke more poetic structures. Starting off with the track Aladdin, the lyrics go beyond the past albums lyrics and has an ever slightly changing chorus.

The album plays the gloomy melancholic synth pop that we all desire from this band and does so proudly with the single, Ran. This track drive the point of the album across very candidly singing, “How we lose control on these road.” This mood then changes with a more enlightened track and then goes on to the first song which is an entire thing of its own.

“Candles,” sounds like almost a summer anthem track *gasps* which one can make teenage love to, smoke to, or even just listen to. This track has a rhythm and pulse that can sway that lull the listener in one of the best ways possible, by the extravagant vocals of Herring. This first step into something unknown from the band could be a hint to what the next album could be based on. There are always clue when it comes to artist as to what their next record will be, and our liking and influence of a track can help the band also go to that direction.

Another track that has that similar Future Islands sound but is a bit off from the path of what we are used to is, Shadows. This track is upbeat and causes anyone to tap their foot as Herring duets with Debbie Harry.

Their album was overall a step towards something that is reflection of the identity of the band as well as glimpses to where they can go. Putting aside the critique of, “Far Field,” everyone who claims to like music must see these gentlemen from Baltimore perform. This album, just like Future Islands, is not only music but an experience.