Future Islands – Singles

On their fourth album Future Islands’ have noticeably opened up their sound, with a profusion of airy sounds and motifs where ALL CAPS hooks once resided. Sure, Singles is sentimental but it’s more optimistic and less tear-stained than 2010’s In Evening Air and 2011’s On The Water.

The hooks are still there, mind you. They’ve always been more than capable of anthems, but they produce some of their best here. ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’ is just the most uplifting thing I’ve danced to in my underwear all year, and as for the rest of the tracks, well, the album is called Singles: it bats pretty deep for catchy tunes, with the whole rest of the album comprising future deep-cut favourites.

Singles is a taut album with no real lulls in energy or quality. As such, many have predicted that Singles will be a breakout album for Future Islands. I’m not so sure about that myself, given that a certain unlikeliness remains a key part of their appeal, but if it happens, it will be richly deserved. If it doesn’t eventuate, then Singles will still be dearly loved by a few of us, and much as it’d be great to see a band of New Romantic underdogs scaling the charts, that seems like solace enough.

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