Review Of “On The Water” By Future Islands


Future Islands

Artist: Future Islands
Title: On The Water
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Rating: 7.5

Future Islands recorded ‘On The Water’ oceanfront. With crashing waves heard at a few points on the record and ‘Tybee Island’ whose vocals were recorded right on the beach, there is a theme to the record that’s not consistently audible. But if there were something about the ocean to definitely tie in with the sounds coming from Future Islands’ ‘On The Water’, it would undoubtedly be those crashing waves.

Think aspects of The Cure with elements of Brian Eno or Siouxsie and The Banshees with The Phantom of the Opera at the mic. Future Islands is the Baltimore-based trio of William Cashion on bass, Gerrit Welmers on keyboards, and Samuel T. Herring on vox. There’s an undeniable synchronicity between these musicians creating music that places your ear in a kind of time warp.

Album opener and title track “On The Water” uses catchy gothic keyboard hook and interesting use of guitar feedback introducing Herring’s deeply musical vocals. “Before The Bridge” has subtle elements of house music before transferring to a very gothic style.

“The Great Fire” (with guest vocals by Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak) is an emotional ballad with interplay of male and female vocals, and crystal-y synth audio. Upbeat tracks like “Balance” and “Close To None” would have any longtime fans of The Cure experiencing racing hearts. If you have the urge to hear new well-produced music that sounds like goth-y 80s’ new wave, this is a band to check out.

Sarah Ferguson

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