Live and on record: The Far Field, by Future Islands


Nostalgia is a difficult line to walk. Future Islands is one of many bands trying to make music that both appeals to contemporary kids and still sounds like it could be on the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie. In The Far Field, the band's fifth full-length album, they've clearly put time into striking that balance.

While it takes a few tracks to get used to the unrelenting synth beats and Sam Herring's enthusiastic if under-enunciated vocals, the end result is a dose of electropop that's less hollow than the typical genre fare. Listening to an entire album of it made me like Future Islands more, not less, which is borderline miraculous.

A not-so-surprising highlight is "Shadows," on which former Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry croons about ghosts trying to find each other and counters Herring's affected British accent into something slightly less pretentious.

Future Islands gives a shit, which is more than can be said of many groups making danceable music these days. The emotion behind their synth-anthems is real. If Herring's chest-pounding, hip-swaying 2014 David Letterman appearance is any indication, it should be a fun show.

Future Islands plays the Wilma Wed., Sept. 27, at 8 PM along with Oh, Rose. $22.

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