After my MacBook finally died a slow death we got by on a shitty PC, but with some convincing and puppy eyes, we got our new iMac. I was so excited to transfer my iTunes library onto this new computer and organize it all on my brand new large screen. I set up my hard drive and started reading tutorials on how to do it myself even though I had never tried. My stubbornness kicked my ass when I accidentally erased the entire library, not only from the computer but my hard drive as well. Smart. I ended up losing years of good music in one click.
One of the bands that was lost in the abyss of cyberspace was Future Islands. I had one song of theirs in my library from a random mix CD I had received as a gift. The song was Old Friend and I loved it, but with a dying laptop it got forgotten and then eventually lost.
As I began the monumental task of importing any old CDs I could find, I stumbled on this old mix CD and there it was waiting for me – just as the song says, like an old friend. I started to research Future Islands to see if they had come out with anything new since the days of my mix CD.
I think what drew me to this band was singer Samuel T Herring’s voice. He sometimes sounds like an indie rock version of Vincent Price, like he should be singing about the haunting of a library or the creation of a Frankenstein. I was intrigued to find these Baltimore natives had just recently put out a new LP called In Evening Air on Thrill Jockey Records. I immediately bought the album to see if they would hold up to my memories and expectations.
Not only did In Evening Air measure up, they brought my affection for them to a whole new level. Their self-described Post-Wave sound is fresh and inventive with New-Wave emotion and Post-Punk intensity. The song Tin Man opens with a hypnotizing bass drum and sucks you in with what sounds like a steel drum or xylophone.
I guess you could say I am a very visual person as well as auditory and I often listen to an album for the first time while I’m on a long bus trip or car ride so I can daydream and become totally immersed in the songs. With Tin Man, as soon as Herring started to sing, the first thing I pictured was a kind of “Dracula the Musical”. Like an old lonely Count that sings about his sorrows in his empty hilltop castle. I later read that Herring was going through a tough breakup during the writing of In Evening Air, maybe that’s where I got the whole lonely Dracula thing. I’m not saying Herring or any member of Future Islands sucks blood or turns into a bat at night, but I like when a song gives me a visual, no matter how random or ridiculous it might be.
Future Islands recently released an EP called Undressed that contains stripped down versions of 4 songs from In Evening Air and their first release Wave Like Home. Although they have no current tour dates set for Canada, I’ve read that Herring puts on an entertaining and wildly expressive show.
If you like what you hear, or even if you don’t, I would love to hear your opinion on these guys and the post. Make sure to share your thoughts because I’ll be here every Monday sharing mine.
The track Old Friend can be found in Toe Jams: Volume 5 – Ronnie’s Picks.
Tin Man – Future Islands
Long Flight – Future Islands
* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans â€“ new or old â€“ please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.