While staying true to form, the band sounds more motivated than ever before
While many musical groups tend to fade out after twelve years of creating and performing, Future Islands is far from so. Known for their smooth melodies and synths that capture the attention of any listener, they’ve found fame in a select type of musical connoisseur.
While they’ve veered off course before creating more emotional or mainstream albums in the past, the group has never strayed too far away from their safe space. While we don’t see them completely abandon ship on their latest album, we do see them at what may be their most honest and vulnerable, yet comfortable they’ve been in their music yet.
As Long As You Are is an album that takes a mere 11 tracks and turns them into a glorious album filled with ballads that are so introspective they force the listener to pay attention carefully as they open up to them. Surprisingly, these introspective lyrics come across as bold, brash and confident as lead singer Samuel T. Herring harmonizes over beautiful, rich chords.
It’s no surprise that the lyrics and meaning of each track are far more conceptual than in previous albums. The band was cooped up together for a large portion of finishing this album during their quarantine from this year’s COVID-19 outbreak. Collaborating will often bring the best out in each member, and it’s evident here that’s exactly what happened with this project.
Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, the listener is captivated by the sounds of seagulls on the opening track, “Glada.” The album transports the fan to the exact locations that they wish you to picture yourself in when listening. Throughout the project, fans are given sounds of enthralling scenery right up to the closing sounds of the ocean coast on the closing track, “Hit the Coast.”
While fans are more than satisfied with any new release from Future Islands, the bulk of As Long As You Are tends to sound slightly too similar to the music we’ve heard from them in the past. Longtime fans can appreciate the album on its first listen more than most will after multiple times through, yet that’s not to say that we wouldn’t greatly appreciate a slight evolution over time into something bigger and better.
While it may be a few years until we’re given a new project from Future Islands, the least we can hope for is a slight progression in their craft. However, as we can see on As Long As You Are, the group knows exactly how to deliver what their fans will always love and cherish about them.