Baltimore's Future Islands could be just one more band of Eighties-y synth romantics. The difference is singer Samuel T. Herring, whose intense rasp evokes Broken English-era Marianne Faithfull if she came down with a serious case of Ian Curtis. He pours out sad-ballad syrup ("Seasons change/But I've grown tired of trying to change for you") like he's using it to clog a fresh wound. And sometimes the lyrics are as uncanny as the voice; on "A Song for Our Grandfathers," he calls on spiritual guidance from Nietzsche and his grandparents, and he makes it sound like goth-soul poetry.
From The Archives Issue 1206: April 10, 2014