IN THE EIGHT YEARS since they first emerged as a scrappy electro-punk outfit, Baltimore’s Future Islands have been gradually sanding down the rougher edges of their sound, honing a distinctly '80s-influenced brand of graceful synth-pop without forsaking that original youthful energy. Their fourth full-length – the first with Beach House engineer Chris Coady - finds the band at their most joyously pop, their colourful synth and bass melodies pulled into tighter focus, less cloistered under Coady’s brightly polished production. Here, frontman Samuel T. Herring’s uniquely arresting voice - capable of morphing a Beefheart snarl into tender Antony Hegarty croon in the space of a syllable – seems altogether more restrained, imbued with a hint of light timidity that lends a sweeter, sadder poignancy to his odes to loss and regret. In taming their wilder side, Future Islands’ ecstatic melancholy has never sounded quite so free. Watch the video for A Dream Of You And Me:
And the now infamous clip of Future Islands performing Seasons (Waiting For You) on Letterman. Dance, Sam T! Dance like you’ve never been hurt!