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Future Islands Rein It in for NPR Tiny Desk Concert

May 17, 2011

The secret is that pretty much every Future Islands song is a huge bummer. Recent acoustic shows (and the EP, Undressed) have revealed the heavy heart behind the super-fun dance beats and, here, as part of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, 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.

For whatever reason, NPR’s embed code is currently not working. Find the video here.

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