Future Islands: In Evening Air
From the beginning of In Evening Air, synthpop act Future Islands sets out to hypnotize the audience with sharp keyboards and drums that kick in like a pulse. Much of the band’s power comes from a tight rhythm section, with bass that’s refreshingly easy to hear rather than just fading into the background to complement electric guitars. The album doesn’t exactly inspire dancing, but it’s not something to take in while sitting down. Beyond the driving rhythm, there are a few moments of lyrical beauty, such as “Swept Inside” demanding to know “what happened to the child inside who ran the streets” or “As I Fall” declaring that “heavy hearts do bury words under promises.” Most of the album flows together smoothly through virtue of being carried along the back of atmospheric synths, but this can get to sound a bit repetitive. Still, the title track is an instrumental that divides the album up nicely with mellow, new wave tones. Those who like their keyboards without that overly digital, autotuned or electronica vibe will find Future Islands to be a refreshing return to indie sensibilities.