I’d heard about their breakout appearance on Letterman and imagined them as an AOR act, like The National. Shudder. So I couldn’t get too curious. But then I heard the song on the radio without realizing it was the Letterman thing and liked it. A lot. So then I had to find the clip on You Tube, where it’d gone viral, naturally. And I saw what all the fuss was about with lead singer Sam Herring’s moves and urgent vocals. Yeah they have a sort of desperate, smouldering energy with Herring’s somewhat serpentine sidling and crouches. Something about a hymn to unrequited love given the dance floor treatment always works for me.
The theme of personal change, denied or resisted, for some reason reminded me of Sharon Van Ettan’s Serpents . That wasn’t quite so dance-friendly, but given a surprising rock drive and has a similar triumphant but pained undertone. Serpents has the more interesting lyrics but Seasons has this killer performance haunting it now. And Herring has an original soulful voice, no question. Will Future Islands be a one-hit wonder? Judging from Herring’s remarks I think everything else will stick pretty closely to the template, but why wouldn’t it? It’s pretty good.