Future Islands is what might've happened if Joy Division had been grounded in R&B and indie pop
Originally hailing from North Carolina, the members of Future Islands have come to call Baltimore their home in the last year. The band brought its energized live performances and native enthusiasm to that city's rich underground music scene. Future Island's sound features heavy rhythms mixed with dark atmospheres and powerfully soulful vocals — not unlike what might have happened if Joy Division had been grounded in R&B and indie pop.
During the act's last stop in Denver, the musicians befriended Travis Egedy of Pictureplane fame after performing the same night and collaborating on a remix/fusion of the songs "Old Friend" and "Little Dreamer" as "Old Dreamer." On this tour, Future Islands will perform as part of Dan Deacon's show for the songs from Bromst. We recently had a few words with bassist William Cashion and singer Sam Herring.
Westword: Your videos and cover art have kind of a Dalí-meets-Alejandro-Jodorowsky feel to them. Who does the art and videos?
Future Islands, with Dan Deacon and Teeth Mountain, 8 p.m. Thursday, April 30, Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue, $10-$12, 303-830-8497.
William Cashion: Oh, yes, for "Follow You" — that was our friend Allen Cordell, who also did the video for "Big Big Big Big Big," by Dan Deacon. We met him when he asked if he could use some music by our old band, Art Lord, for a movie he was making. Our album art is by Kymia Nawabi. We went to East Carolina University together, where we started Art Lord. We gave her the Wave Like Home music and told her we trusted her with whatever she wanted to do.
The song "Little Dreamer" sounds a little out of place on Wave Like Home because it's like a Beach House-esque torch song rather than the frenetic energy of the rest of the album. Is it an earlier song? Does it just make a good ending to an otherwise energetic record?
Sam Herring: That song was actually written in the studio. When we recorded Wave Like Home, we were all living far from each other. William and Gerrit [Welmers] come up with the musical ideas, and I usually come in with the words, or I sit down while they're writing. I hadn't seen those guys in a long time, and we came together to record the album during three days in July, and we only had five songs for it. It had been five months since we had written anything and a month and a half since we had played a show. We had no intention of writing a slow song or a fast song.
I feel like we're a very polarized band, where we write these heavy, down-tempo songs and very up-tempo, though still heavy, songs. Things have changed a lot since Wave Like Home, I think for the better, and you'll see that when we come through Denver. "Little Dreamer" was just something that happened; it was too beautiful to let go. There was never a question of it fitting; it just had to be the last song.
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