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Future Islands

‘Getting personal’ can have varying results in the world of
popular music. Often, an artist’s insistence on ‘telling
all’ either ends up smelling like fame-money-and-swanburgers-ain’t-all-they’recracked-up-to-be-y’know? (Robbie Williams/Lily Allen), or has us
hugging our knees to the laid bare warbles of Antony & The
Johnsons, wishing we’d put on ‘Walking On Sunshine’ to fish us
out of despair, not what must be a leaked counselling session
tape set to music. A musician saying, “It’s a very personal
record,” basically means, “love meeee!” or, “don’t you dare love
me, I don’t deserve it.”Future

Occasionally, though, a band vent via their music without
being phoney pop-prats or tooearnest-for-comfort. The Smiths
did it with wry wit; The Cure in a pantomime parade of eyeliner
and backcombing. Baltimore-based Future Islands manage it with
choral electronics and the unapologetic growl-come-wail of
singer Samuel T. Herring who flirts with self-reflective
distress one minute and nostalgic optimism the next.

‘In Evening Air’ is their new album, and one that’s deeply personal
and powerful, thanks, in no small part, to Herring’s
willingness to read from his diary pages.

“I’m really proud that you feel that way,” says the
frontman, cheerily. “I like to feel that I take it all out and
leave it all out on stage.

I take great pride in my words and how they convey a message. This
do get criticised for.”

Herring often grimaces his way through large sections of
Future Islands shows, wearing on his face the pain of tracks like
‘Tin Man’ as he croaks them out like a post-punk Louis

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