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Best musical act: Future Islands

Baltimore’s biggest band is back. After a breakthrough album (2014’s “Singles”) and a live performance that made David Letterman’s head spin, the synthpop act toured the world and took a break. This month, Future Islands returned with “The Far Field,” a record that expands the trio’s parameters (string and horn arrangements, live drums for the first time) while retaining their pop sensibilities. Samuel Herring’s emotive vocals and charisma capture listeners’ attention, but William Cashion’s driving basslines and Gerrit Welmers’ lush synthesizer landscapes make the songs shine.

— Wesley Case

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Singer Samuel T. Herring, Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion of Future Islands perform Pandora at SXSW 2017.
Singer Samuel T. Herring, Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion of Future Islands perform Pandora at SXSW 2017. (Vivien Killilea / Getty Images for Pandora)
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