Let’s get it out of the way at the top; that Samuel T. Herrings’ voice is still quite the barrier of entry. He’s got a high-strung warble that sounds inches away from topping out at a weepy breakdown or breaking character into a giggle. The rest is all beautiful without asterisk – dewy, dollar-store synth-noise played with controlled earnest, dance-pop drums slowed and sculpted into something that actually resembles the heartening warmth they were chemically engineered to deliver. When Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner demolishes her blacked-out, gut-wrenching, voice-cracking guest spot on ‘The Great Fire’ you’ll find yourself closer to enlightenment than you’d ever think a band like Future Islands were capable of delivering. The press-kit is full of the metaphysical wankery you’d expect from a band with words like “New Wave” proudly emblazoned across their Wikipedia page, but it all feels true.  And frankly, I couldn’t care less how deep your snobby rabbit hole goes when you write songs this good.

By Luke Winkie

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