Future Islands
In Evening Air


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kiran EMERITUS
May 28th, 2010 | 126 replies | 18,355 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: New wave for tough guys with soft hearts.

What’s most initially striking about Future Islands’ In Evening Air is the voice of singer Samuel Herring. He sounds like new wave’s answer to Isaac Brock: gruff, off-kilter, and polarizing all at once. The instrumentation is no less strung around Herring’s voice as he is woven into it, dropping in and out of the mix as he pleases. The pedaling synths and dissonant guitars of “Long Flight” are unaffected by his presence and chug forward with or without him – he’s just the wild card and it’s a role he takes with vigour too, howling and crying for control amidst the bass rumbling and spiraling synths that sit above him in the production of “Vireo’s Eye”. But for all his deep, throaty gargling, “Tin Man” opens with: “You couldn’t possibly know how much you mean to me”. And oh, what torment. “Swept Inside” highlights him at his most subdued (or perhaps jarred): “She says nothing seems the same / and I can’t change a thing” and with it comes the big reveal – In Evening Air is another take on heartbreak but in every way not just another take on heartbreak.

This isn’t an album that grapples its problems with clarity or wise-with-experience retrospection. Herring often sounds more like he’s resisting being crushed under the weight of his problems than he is angry and bitter at them, the synths dot and sparkle but never dance, and the percussion is firm and directing; the band progress with a goal, like they know where they're heading, and it's Herring's voice that marks each twist and turn of the trail. “Inch of Dust” is surrounding and calculated between swells of synth but dissolves into open air around the promise “Call on me / I’ll be there always” as if to lose its posture for a moment, before clinging back together as Herring’s voice becomes more tortured around the repeated line. There’s nothing momentous or heroic about the moment but rather an experience far more human: desperation. It’s sincere, apologetic, throws ego or pride to the wayside and it’s all channeled through the vocals as they rise, shout, wail, mumble, whisper and eventually fall.

Even without falling too deeply into it, In Evening Air still poses a breadth of values to adore. Lead single “Tin Man” uses jangly synths and a simple verse-chorus song structure in what is one of the most singalong worthy cuts on the album, while “Long Flight” is uptempo and crescendo-driven, spurred on by Herring’s quickfire vocal delivery. At just over thirty-five minutes, the length of the album works to its advantage too, not overstaying its welcome as well as solidifying the fact that there’s nothing exceptionally challenging about In Evening Air. What it comes down to is investment: sink your teeth into it and explore its depths or enjoy it nonetheless as the eccentric new wave prize it is on the surface. Either way, you’re in for a treat.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
May 28th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wrote this on a whim but i tried to edit in some structure as opposed to the stream of consciousness i initially had it down in

digging

http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=1486

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

AggravatedYeti
May 28th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

everything ive heard from this was awesome, shit thanks for reminding me about them. fukin 2010

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 28th 2010



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Glad my recommendation stuck.

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010



10307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

who does this sound like

Digging: Literature - Chorus

AggravatedYeti
May 28th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wolf parade kinda

weakerthans kinda

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010



10307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

don't tease me

AggravatedYeti
May 28th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is really good btw kir

Romulus
May 28th 2010



8423 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Really excited to give this a listen

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 28th 2010



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

klap, re:what do they sound like, here are some werd and mptrees: http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=1486

Kiran
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad my recommendation stuck.

yes, thank you dude. ive got a 14 hour plane ride on tuesday and im counting on this and titus andronicus to keep me busy.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe I'll listen to this today, it's been collecting dust on my desktop.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Time
May 29th 2010



81 Comments


god i love them so much why haven't i gotten this yet

Calculate
May 30th 2010



1135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best summary ever. i really need to hear this.

cvlts
May 30th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so... not a huge fan of the genre.

but that album artwork alone is making me get it right now lol.

WeepingBanana
May 31st 2010



10078 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

my friend gave me one of these guys' albums like a month ago. still haven't listened to it but i might listen to this first

Time
June 1st 2010



81 Comments


everyone should listen to Wave Like Home too, it's a bit rough around the edges but still enjoyable as fuck

WeepingBanana
June 1st 2010



10078 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

wow this album is so good so far. almost done and it's probably gonna end up a 4.5 in a few weeks

Kiran
Emeritus
June 3rd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

See the aion kinah three-meter aion power leveling semi-tragic aion power leveling situation, the maple story mesos dragon just efforts to struggle maple story mesos out from the rom gold cartilage, but this rom gold time he is lineage 2 adena physically lineage 2 adena very weak already. Originally last chaos gold relied on the last chaos gold spirit of ffxiv power leveling flames, Pangu tombstone, day ffxiv gil palm, ghosts and all of the recent dofus kamas loss of small stubborn dragon role, especially dofus kamas small and stubborn spirit of flames dragon and was beaten dilapidated.


ya totally agree bro

mvood
June 11th 2010



818 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album needs more attention

iisblackstar
July 12th 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album.. have trouble getting in to some of the songs
love tin man



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