Future Islands – Wave Like Home
Yep, this is good. Really good. Even though I would normally say that this is not ‘my thing’. Starting off in a slightly hesitant, slightly dopey manner with Pangea, Future Islands really hit their stride and define their sound with the second track, Old Friend.
Old Friend is one of those deliberately annoying high energy lo-fi things that have been so prevalent these last few years. Apparently we are to call it post-wave. Still the powerful vocals give the track real emotional content and drive; it’s too easy to be coy or gnomic in these situations.
There’s a lot of cabaret in Future Islands’ music, with a (concomitant) taste for passionate lowlife/Bohemian drama. The singer really bloody goes for it too; in between trying to pull off being a (slightly hysterical) torch singer. The whole record’s not a million miles away in approach and attitude from what Soft Cell did. You can hear this in Escape or Flicker and Flutter or the Heart Grows Old.
Yet again, I’m reminded of really deranged stuff like Jim Foetus, it’s the feeling I get that the band think that no-one’s really listening… Or at times there is a feeling that the singer’s been getting down to Van Halen in his bedroom (Beach Foam). What I’m trying to say is that the band’s inherent sense of the grandiose really takes this set to strange places.
Whatever, it’s bloody enjoyable once you accept their muse.
Words: Richard Foster