Future Islands - The Far Field
The Far Field
2014 was a massive year for Future Islands. Their smash record Singles came out and made them an overnight viral success, not counting the many many years they put in before that record. They are a throwback yet modern and highly obsessed with their music to an aggressive degree, it is almost like you are listening to LCD Soundsystem lite. For many, Future Islands is the beginning and end of indie rock, the best there ever was and the best there ever will be. They of course lie somewhere in the middle but on this new record they are showing they have the ability to take some of the polish off. Samuel T. Herring sings with such stifled aggression, like he is constantly trying to push a Dragon down and when He occasionally lets it loose, may does it fly. The lead single "Cave" has this driving bass line that pushes the anxiety so high that when we get the release of Herring singing "I don't believe anymore" you can't help but agree. There is this raw push of emotion that The Far Field is able to obtain from the messier arrangements and that pulsing relentless beat drags you along whether you like it or not. "Candles" a slow song in essence is the one point where that pace is interrupted and really sticks out as a miss towards the end of the record. You really get the sense that rather than presenting something that is crafted within an inch of it's life Future Islands want to bring you something that is rich with their personal emotions.
Debbie Harry contributes her iconic vocals to 'Shadows" and helps deliver one of the absolute best moments on the album. You do find a pattern of shimmery starts to their songs however, which is not necessarily a bad thing but it is something that tends to happen enough times that you start to notice. Future Islands have that really specific sound that is perfect for spastic dancing, something we all might not be a fan of watching but love to do when no one is watching. Following a smash like Singles was always going to be difficult but Future Islands have done enough to make the album exciting without sacrificing what inherently makes them them. Though some of the moments can feel a bit over the top, you never question the authenticity of these because Future Islands seem so earnest in everything that they do. There are many bad directions this record could have gone, but Future Islands did it right. While this record may not turn any non-believers it is sure to delight the faithful and bring over a few folks who are still on the fence.
7.9 out of 10