Future Islands blew David Letterman’s mind last year with an intense performance of their breakout single “Seasons (Waiting On You),” and frontman Samuel Herring’s dramatic dance moves became a running meme on The Late Show thereafter. On Tuesday, the synth-pop band returned to the Ed Sullivan Theatre and debuted their hypnotic new single, “The Chase,” once again impressing the late-night legend with their idiosyncratic style.
“The Chase” builds on the melodic focus of 2014’s acclaimed Singles, with Herring growling passionately over hi-hat-heavy drums, a jittery bassline and glittery synth pattern. The frontman dedicates the performance to their riot-torn home city: “This song is gonna go out to the people in Baltimore,” he says to open the song. “Let us not discount their voices — or the voices of all the people in the cities that we live and love.”
Herring also delivers his now-trademark dance moves and gestures: the bent-knee stage slide, the chest pound, the Shakespearean point to the rafters. Toward the end, the quartet are joined by Late Show band members Paul Shaffer, bassist Will Lee and guitarist Felicia Collins – who form a backing vocal choir.
“The Chase” was made available on iTunes following the performance. The double A-side single also features “Haunted By You,” a more reflective track driven by spacey electric guitar lines. The songs will also be released June 30th via 4AD as a 7-inch vinyl, which is available for pre-order.
Future Islands will appear at a variety of festivals this summer – including the Hangout Music Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival – and have intermittent dates scheduled until the end of September. The band’s full itinerary is available at their website.