Published Oct 06, 2020Future Islands' anthemic melancholy is still deep, still vast. On As Long as You Are, the band's sixth record, frontman Samuel T. Herring sings devastating dreamscapes into being as boldly as ever, hinting at new life with each gesture of resignation. Their music has always bled while suggesting the possibility of something better, something beautiful. Hope and longing meet in a sea of synths, drowning in one moment only to come up for air in the next.
As Long as You Are is an album of culmination and release, of healing and introspection. On the 11-track foray through past and present, Herring belts about relationships, self-love and resilience.
The album reflects external shifts as well as internal ones. Drummer Mike Lowry is a full-fledged member of the band as of this year, transforming the group's songwriting process. The four also took on production duties for the first time, working with engineer Steve Wright in Baltimore.
Future Islands' landscapes of sound are more intricately detailed here than they have been before. Their poetic angst has matured into something more subdued and dripping with acceptance. As Long as You Are feels, in a way, like the band coming home to itself. (4AD)