The secret is that pretty much every Future Islands song is a huge bummer. Recent acoustic shows (and the EP,
) have revealed the heavy heart behind the super-fun dance beats and, here, as part of NPR's
, the group's kinda stripped down take on new-ish songs like "On The Water," and "The Inkwell," and
In Evening Air
opener "Walking Through That Door" prove it once more. Or maybe it isn't such a secret, as vocalist Sam Herring tells NPR, his goal is to "make [listeners] cry." This performance though is also pretty fun because it's a chance to see how Future Islands, easily one of the most compelling live bands around, translate all their ragged energy into the confines of a small-ass office without any room for Herring to freak out in, and without an obsessively devoted audience bouncing up and down around them. There's a special kind of simmering intensity here, as they're all reining it in just a bit: William Cashion's bass a little less punchy, J. Gerritt Welmers' synths not quite so dance ready, and Herring, spilling his guts in an indoor voice.
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