In Review: Future Islands - 'For Sure'

The Baltimore quartet are back with their first release in three years, sticking to their tried-and-tested anthemic formula, bass and synths abound.
Posted: 22 July 2020 Words: Alex Orr

Future Islands have been on a steady upward trajectory since they first broke out in 2014, with talk show performances, a slew of critically-lauded releases, and high-profile festival slots defining their careers alongside the slew of good-to-great releases. Following three years of 'radio silence' since their last album The Far Field, the Baltimore band are back with latest single ‘For Sure’.

After the long sabbatical, the group clearly set out to re-establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the indie scene. ‘For Sure’ features all the typical Future Islands plays – song-writing driven by a two-pronged combo of rhythmic synths and a catchy bass groove, and frontman Samuel T Herring’s wise-beyond-his-years voice crooning away. It's executed with excellence; the synth and bass give an incredibly catchy undertone to match the overtones of Herring’s gruff, haunting vocals. 

The group have a strong knack for imbuing new songs with feelings of nostalgia and melancholy. Upon the first listen, the song sounds familiar without sounding like a repeat. This in itself is particularly impressive, given that the instrumentation follows the Future Islands’ and synth-pop guidelines to a tee – it’s rare these elements don’t immediately feel like they’ve been used to write a song that is destined to fall into the annals of the genre. It is slightly disappointing that there isn’t much in the way of new ideas or creativity compared to previous Future Island tracks, but after three years away it’s understandable why this is.

Overall, ‘For Sure’ certainly isn’t trying to preach to the converted. It’s a simple, loud and triumphant announcement that Future Islands are back and haven’t lost a step.

To hear more from Future Islands, click here.

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