Future Islands are an American synth-pop band and ‘Singles’ was released in 2014. It was their fourth album and they have a new one coming out soon. The success and rise of the album was due in part to their appearance on ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’ where they played a rousing single, ‘Seasons’, lead by singer Samuel Herring’s antics. That same song was voted the track of the year by many major music related magazines and reviewers.
It is ‘Seasons’ that opens the album and its synth-pop perfection. A pacey and relatively well written track where Herring does well to add an emotional side to the lyrics, his urgency keeping up with the changing music. Future Islands use a limited amount of instruments, mainly electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. So not to say that the songs sound the same throughout, but they do well with what tools they have. ‘Spirit’ and ‘Sun In The Morning’ do sound a little similar but still perfect synth tracks. Herring plays a big part because his changing vocal range keep them fresh. ‘Doves’ is poppy and Herring uses a little ‘ooh-ooh’ in the chorus to mix things up. ‘Back In The Tall Grass’ is bass heavy but a change from the previous tracks. It doesn’t change too much within the song but it holds your attention.
‘A Song For Our Grandfathers’ is one of my favourites. The intro sounds a little like ‘Steal My Sunshine’ by Len, and it slowly builds, adding guitar for the chorus. The lyrics are quiet sentimental and the melody matches to make it a great track. The fuzzy synth in the background adds an air of confusion which also works. ‘Light House’ is also and excellent fast paced track. The next track that really works for me is ‘Fall From Grace’ where Herring comes from nowhere to scream though ‘Was it all inside of me’. A good variation to his vocal style and it takes the song to another level. The album closer ‘A Dream Of You And Me’ is another favourite of mine from the album. It employs every aspect of whats great about Future Islands and they’re music. Changing melodies but staying with a certain sound, a sentimental song similar to ‘A Song For Our Grandfathers’.
All in all, this is a very good album. You can play it straight through and you find it conveys more emotion with each listen. Its very catchy with fantastic and strange vocals. A sort of album that while listening to you might find yourself reminiscing about your younger days. Buy it.
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