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Future Islands Unveil New Track, “Before the Bridge”

June 17, 2011

What made In Evening Air, the second full-length from post-wave trio Future Islands, work so well was a certain sense of unity, a clear declaration of purpose. Sam Herring’s woeful tales of heartbreak, backed by synths and beats from Gerrit Welmers and bass rhythms from William Cashion, were pieced together like a page-turning book, unfurling as a fluid whole that demanded fixed attention. The songs were the band’s tightest and catchiest, but they were also compositions that featured new depth and texture.

With “Before the Bridge”–released digitally earlier this week, the a-side of a forthcoming 7”–the group manages to up the ante with a song that is one of its most danceable and most dense. The addition of percussion from Double Dagger’s Denny Bowen allows a little more room for both Welmers and Cashion to work, and they use it wisely. The bass line just pops, and Cashion creates a bouncy groove that is likely to move even the most reluctant of dancers. Welmers opens and closes the song with sustained synths, punctuating the middle with airy little melodies.

If In Evening Air represented Herring pouring his guts out about a broken heart, “Before the Bridge” finds him no less somber, but slightly more reflective, as he sings: “I hope you have what you need/ I gave you soul and body.”

These developments can only make the anticipation for a third LP, whenever it may come, that much higher. “Before the Bridge” has all the hallmarks of a band hitting its stride. The record, which features the b-side “Find Love,” is scheduled to come out on July 19 and is limited to 750 copies. You can pre-order it through Thrill Jockey.

Future Islands, “Before the Bridge” by mbyrne-1

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