Future Islands: The Far Field
Future Islands make proficient synth-pop with a standout component: Samuel T Herring’s histrionic turn as frontman.
“Is this a desperate wish for dying? Or a wish that dying cease?” he intones on The Far Field, enunciating the orotund words with a ham actor’s relish. The album is the follow-up to the Baltimore trio’s Singles in 2014, when Herring’s remarkably bombastic performance of a song on the Late Show with David Letterman went viral.
He is marginally less florid this time around, but his husky soulful voice and over-elaborate lyrics remain resolutely over-cooked among the limber synth beats. A classy cameo from Debbie Harry on “Shadows” only serves to highlight the shortcomings of Herring’s mannerisms all the more.