Music Hall of Williamsburg
Future Islands

Future Islands

Talk Normal, Dope Body

Tue, November 20, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$15 advance / $17 day of show

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

Future Islands
Future Islands
Future Islands believe in true love, you can tell that because their songs speak through our lives. It's as if their music has always been with us, soundtracking every great hope, dawning realization and broken promise. Every fond embrace, each leap of faith. Over the last eight years Baltimore's most quixotic and emotionally involving trio have maintained an admirable level of skill and pace, never slowing down for the corners. It's vocalist Samuel T. Herring, William Cashion (bass, guitars), and Gerrit Welmers (keyboards, programming, guitars) who find themselves responsible. Their sound is at once beguiling and irresistible. It's one part melancholic, one part euphoric; full of animated bass lines, robust drum machines and questing keyboards, all set off by Sam's remarkably distinct, soaring vocal.

Future Islands came to life after all three members had served their tenure in the overtly conceptual Art Lord & The Self-Portraits, a waggish band as comical as it was tender. With Art Lord they found themselves in a world of borrowed gear and frenzied house parties, spending endless hours booking tours in notebooks, burning CDRs in the van, xeroxing sleeves. It's the same DIY spirit that informs Future Islands to this day. Having toured tirelessly since the band's inception in Greenville, NC back in 2006, Future Islands have now played in excess of 800 shows, often touring with their friends, most notably Dan Deacon, Ed Schrader's Music Beat and Talk Normal. Sam, William and Gerrit all hail from small towns so they've made it their aim on tour to play as many off-the-radar places as possible. It's this dedicated groundwork that sets Future Islands apart from most, they've kept things traditional, converting people on the road, putting the time in, making friends first then fans. With each landmark album, they've been growing, loving, losing and leaving us wanting more.

Returning with their new album Singles, Future Islands have refined their unique sound further still. Having worked with Thrill Jockey and Upset The Rhythm previously, Singles marks the start of their new relationship with legendary label 4AD, a more fitting home is hard to imagine. Chris Coady (known for his enduring work with Beach House, TV On The Radio, Grizzly Bear) mixed and produced the album, leaving his luminous fingerprint across the album's radiant collection of pulse-grabbers and slow-burners. Packing an ever harder punch, it makes for a deeply resonant listen; an affectionate hand on the shoulder. Singles, the band's fourth full length, is a decidedly polished sounding album, it's glossy like unapologetic pop, silken and lustrous, but check it's pockets for the stockpile of realism.

"Seasons (Waiting On You)" kicks off the record in a decidedly jubilant yet soulful manner, typical of the band's most recent 7"s. It's got all the passionate delivery and exuberance you've come to expect from Future Islands, only there's a new found relaxed distance and maturity at play. "People change, but some people never do" Sam wistfully calls out, fighting the corner for each nagging doubt and irrepressible desire that won't back down. Whilst the song ebbs into hushed violin flurries and we're left considering the grave of love, "Spirit" leaps up, tumbling us over before chasing its descant deeper into the album. Future Islands are perfectionists at teaming up some suitably yearning subject matter with an upbeat musical response and "Spirit", much like "Doves" and "Light House", is a good case in point.

"Back In The Tall Grass" is a propulsive tour de force of plucky bass and blushing synths, testing the heaviest hearts into a united sway. "We're a long way from home, how did we get here?" questions Sam languidly, his voice never before sounding so absorbed and lost in thought, really lost, "four steps back and I'm gone" lost. "A Song For Our Grandfathers" parades with a self-assured splendour. "They said that if I stared the abyss would stare back at me and so I did," confesses Sam with the larynx of a lonesome lion. Meanwhile, William's bass roots you to the spot, allowing the vivid touches of guitar and Gerrit's efflorescent keyboard waves to soak you through. It also seems like a particularly poignant lyric for Sam as he confronts personal ghosts and memories of feeling safe alike.

Singles is a bold album of wandering reflections and haunted wonder, Sam's wounded howl on "Fall From Grace" makes sure that much is clear. It's an album that keeps running from the off and keeps running from a restlessness that threatens to consume. As the record concludes in cascading delight with "A Dream Of You And Me" your preconceptions of Future Islands being a romantic band fade. Suddenly you realize they're more enthralled by the notions of romanticism and idealism that never fail to lead all hearts astray. Future Islands have always been there, on the outside looking in. With Singles they step inside us and start looking out and it's a joy to finally join them.

— Christopher Tipton
Talk Normal
Talk Normal
On Talk Normal’s sophomore LP Sunshine, out October 23 via Joyful Noise Recordings, the Brooklyn duo unveil songs that sparkle with melody and dissonance. Jarring rhythms and feedback-drenched guitar tones lace
Sunshine’s nine surprisingly songful tunes – creating a sound informed by their predecessors (Cocteau Twins, Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson & Creatures), but strikingly new.
After years of friendship, Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro’s Talk Normal first emerged on the NYC music scene in 2007, initially releasing demos, cassettes and their Secret Cog vinyl EP. Following the 2009 release of their debut album Sugarland on Rare Book Room Records (recorded and mixed by Nicolas Vernhes), Talk Normal released a handful of 7″s (including a split 7″ with Thurston Moore on Nathan Howdeshell from The Gossip’s Fast Weapons Records) and shared the stage with the likes of Sonic Youth, Wire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Zola Jesus.
In the three years since Sugarland, Talk Normal have refined their noisy vigor into the diverse batch of songs found on Sunshine. Tracks like “Bad Date”, “Cover”, and “Hurricane” carry almost a meditative emotional energy, where others like “Sunshine” and “Shot This Time” err on the side of explosive driving rock. Plus dance-y “XO”, narrative noisers “Lone General” and “Baby, Your Heart’s Too Big”, and standout vocal harmonies on “Hot Water Burns”. Produced by the band, Sunshine was recorded in 2011 by Christina Files at Vacation Island Studios in Brooklyn NY and Echo Canyon West in Hoboken NJ (Files also contributed to production). Allen Farmello mixed at The Snow Farm in Brooklyn NY. Written over the course of years, culminating in frequent jumps from studio to studio, and with the band going on two month-long tours mid-process (!) this album is laced with a sense of urgency and jubilation unique to the path it traveled into reality.
Unlike traditional noisy-rock, Talk Normal’s Sunshine is steeped in melody, albeit unconventional melody. Sweet-sounding female vocals are present throughout, sometimes as sung lyrics and sometimes as instruments themselves. Ambro & Register’s combined voices often volley back and forth, each providing equal contributions to vocals, lyrics, and instrumentation – meticulously orchestrating not only the arrangements, but also the tonality of each collected sound. As Pitchfork describes: “(their) vocals can handle both desperate screech and matter-of-fact detachment somewhere between Karen O and Kim Gordon”. Combined with Register’s flowing, nearly-drony riffs and Ambro’s finely choreographed beats, the end result is a natural sonic cohesion. Maybe not the sunshine you’re used to, but rays within which you’ll want to bask.
Dope Body
Dope Body
Dope Body, Baltimore, MD's four-headed beast, fire their second salvo, Natural History, on May 22nd. Borne in 2008 from the dance-friendly confines of the city's Wham City scene, this unclassifiable heavy ventured out into the night to find more like-minds, but came back empty-handed - i.e., they stand alone. Evolving from blasting three-piece to blistering four-piece, they enjoy writing their own songs, touring endlessly, having fun and pummeling basement parties with a gleeful, wide-eyed fanaticism that the more reasonable among us might mistake for insanity (it ain't entirely so). Dope Body writhe under their own influences and experiments, swinging from gutterish sludge-punk to snake charmer-on-fire within the confines of a single tune. Rather than compare their ferocity to another contender, just know that Dope Body is punk spelled other-wards and standing on its hands, with riffs descending like blood rushing from your feet to your head, then trickling down the drain.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/