Album Review: Future Islands, The Far Field

Triumphant effort from US indie heroes

Reaching us as Future Islands make their way around the States and prepare for an extensive European tour in the summer, the Baltimore synth-pop crew’s fifth album is easily one of the most anticipated indie releases of the year. News that The Far Field would feature Blondie’s Debbie Harry and was being produced with John Congleton (David Byrne, St. Vincent, Cloud Nothings) added to the intrigue. Would it be another triumph for the Baltimore boys following 2014’s critically acclaimed Singles?

Short answer, yes.

The Far Field, from cover to cover, is a concise 12-track collection that aims high and meets all its targets. The songs are carefully thought-out and cross-reference each other constantly in their structure, instrumentation and lyrics, making the entire LP feel like an intertextual web, at the core of which sits the theme of existential anxiety.

Once again, the trademark Future Islands bass sound is given pride of place, underpinning every song and acting as the sonic glue that holds the record together. A seductive groove will draw you in gently, before a particularly weighty lyric catches you offguard and compels you to listen back.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on ‘Caves’, where the lines, “Is this a desperate wish for dying?/ Or a wish that dying cease?” fully expose you to singer Samuel Herring’s inner turmoil. On any other record, half of these lines might sound moany or insincere, but with Herring’s peculiarly soulful vocals, every lyrical passage sounds like an earnest truth.

Elsewhere ‘Shadows’ – featuring the one and only Debbie Harry – is a truly spine-tingling indie-rock duet, while ‘Black Rose’ is a powerful closer. Five albums in and Future Islands are better than ever.


Related Articles

STREAM: Samuel T. Herring records rap tune

The Future Islands man has been collaborating with Scallops Hotel

Read More

LISTEN: Du Blonde enlists Future Islands frontman

... On new track 'Mind I On My Mind'.

Read More

WATCH: Future Islands short film

Future Island celebrate what has been the rock 'n' roll year of their lives with Road Dawgs, a seven-minute short that makes you love Samuel T. Herring & Co. even more.

Read More

LIVE REPORT: Future Islands play first show at Vicar St

See the full gallery here...

Read More

VIEW: Future Islands photo gallery

Last night saw Future Islands play the first of their back-to-back shows in a rammed Vicar St. and what a night it was too with Samuel T. Herring in hyperactive young Marlon Brando meets funky James Brown mode throughout.

Read More

Future Islands, Vicar St

Future Islands, Vicar St, Dublin, 2nd November 2014

Read More

WATCH: Future Islands session

In the unlikely event that your appetites aren’t already sufficiently whetted for their Vicar St. shows, Future Islands have recorded a stunning 4AD session, which you have to drop absolutely everything to watch!

Read More

WATCH: Future Islands play 'Seasons' on Jools

Once again, Gerrit Welmers was giving it serious socks.

Read More

LISTEN: Future Islands stream new live EP

The songs were recorded during the band's SXSW performance.

Read More

WATCH: Future Islands, Pixies, Lucius & James Vincent McMorrow radio sessions

We’re delighted to have a struck a deep vein of live radio session gold!

Read More

Future Islands add second Dublin date

With their first date there selling-out in 48 hours, Future Islands have announced a second consecutive Vicar St. show on November 3, tickets for which are €20 and on sale now.

Read More

Future Islands for Vicar St.

Expect a huge clamour for tickets as one of the world’s biggest buzz bands, Future Islands, play Vicar St., Dublin on November 2. The show goes on sale tomorrow.

Read More

Future Islands - Singles

Synth oddballs deliver career best

Read More

Advertise With Us

For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below


Find us elsewhere