Future Islands / Singles — The 'Old North State' Offers More Than Great BBQ and Ideal Surf
From 15 May '14
Originally from rural North Carolina, Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion, and Samuel Herring, better known as Future Islands, have emerged in the music scene with a fresh take on the New Wave sound that made the 80’s one of the most memorable and definitive years in music. The trio, who met at East Carolina University, bonded on their mutual love for the synthetic and disco-like sound that was first introduced by post-punk bands like The Cure. Future Islands, however, has taken the New Wave and electronic sound to another level by adding their own unique musical elements, such as the distinct vocals of lead singer, Samuel Herring. Herring’s deep and captivating voice (not to mention his unforgettable dance moves) adds the perfect touch to the basic yet necessary sound of the bass and keyboard, of which Welmers and Cashion perfect. Having been to 4 Future Islands shows, all of which have been in the New York City area, each one is and has been a completely new and refreshing experience. Whether it be small and quaint venues like the Bowery Ballroom or larger sold out shows at Webster Hall (Where I most recently experience the group to a sold out crowd), Welmers, Cashion, and Herring never fail to bring heart and soul to their shows or music, which in turn has enabled them to rise to stardom, while still embracing their humble beginnings. Although my most memorable show remains to be when I was able to dance on stage with the trio at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I realize that like all bands with undeniable potential and a clear path to stardom, that chance will probably never occur again.
Nowadays in the music world, chart topping singles tend to overshadow the full scope of a new album and therefore, in my opinion, there are few bands in recent years that have had the ability to release a new record with a genuine storytelling aspect. However, the latest album by Future Islands, ironically entitled Singles, is comprised of both mellow and upbeat songs – all of which have their own undeniably contagious beat and a distinct hook that never fails to get your foot tapping to the rhythm. And as I find myself listening to Future Islands’ old EPs and albums, I am reminded that each and every song on an album is part of a greater story being told by the artist and which must be heard from start to finish.