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On the Water (Bonus Track Version)

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This Baltimore trio is as capable of ratcheting up the noise quotient as it is easing into delicate, intimate moments, and On the Water (recorded at the ocean’s edge in North Carolina) springs from the band’s gentler side. It’s a beautiful collection of songs that start and end with sounds of water and wind; in between, Sam Herring’s emotional outpourings are more heartwrenching than ever. Serving a large dose of misery spiked with a dash of hope, it may be best summed up by an interview quote from Herring: “I want you to cry.” Well, then. Mission accomplished, for many of us, anyway. Herring’s restrained histrionics are just this side of overwrought, and the topic at hand is, no surprise, loss and longing. Hints of vintage Cure and New Order color the simple keyboard and bass lines, while Herring’s gnarled voice reaches like a withering tree branch, grasping at fading sunlight. Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner lends her voice to the unearthly beauty “The Great Fire,” and powerhouse drummer Denny Bowen of Double Dagger appears throughout. Tragic never sounded so good.


Formed: 2006 in Greenville, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Led by crooning frontman Samuel T. Herring, the members of Future Islands started out making electro-pop music together in 2003 while attending East Carolina University's art program. Along with Herring, the initial members of the group were Adam Beeby, William Cashion, J. Gerrit Welmers, and Kymia Nawabi, and they played shows around campus as Art Lord & the Self-Portraits. In 2006, after the band split, Herring, Cashion, and Welmers continued under the name Future Islands and picked up the Kickass...
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On the Water (Bonus Track Version), Future Islands
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