I first heard about Future Islands the old fashioned way: through the Internet. The three-piece Baltimore outfit--who are part of the same art/music collective as Dan Deacon, Wham City!--has been blowing up music blogs lately as writers anticipate the release of its newest full-length album, In Evening Air. Once the buzz reached these ears, I couldn't resist the Future Islands' way of mixing simple, electronic drum beats and melodies with sparse guitar work and guttural vocals.
From In Evening Air, "Tin Man" is subtly anthemic emotional dirge. A punchy kick drum provides the song's backbone as a terse grouping of layered and delayed synth sounds loop a constant melody. But it's vocalist Samuel T. Herring's thick, gravelly croon that steals the show. When he sings "You've got a lot to learn in your life," it feels as if he's known you for ages and is giving you well-seasoned advice. And as he quietly chants, "I am the Tin Man," it feels more like we're all the Tin Man. It's enough to pique my interest in seeing what the East Coast trio bring to its live performance when Future Islands comes to San Francisco on Monday, May 24 at El Rio.
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