Baltimore's Future Islands were easily the most exciting act I saw at Pickathon this year. Frontman Sam Herring glided around the stage with an energy that was at times reminiscent of Morrissey's heart worn suave and at others like a heavyweight boxer getting pumped for a bout. Herring would often sing with his eyes closed into the microphone, but at times he could also be seen quite literally, and viciously, punching himself in the face. Herring had both a silky croon and a gravelly bellow that both, somehow, ended up feeling romantic over his band's textural synth-pop.
The video for "Balance"—the lead single and one of the best cuts from their forthcoming record On the Water—shows a young couple running around America together desperately trying to take advantage of the varied landscape. It's a montage about people clinging to youth (not so dissimilar from the scenes you'd see every day around Portland). In the end it's a light video with a basic narrative, but there's a tenderness here that captures the spirit of the bass driven song's patient, romantic sentiments.
On the Water is released via Thrill Jockey on October 11th and Future Islands play Mississippi Studios on November 13th.