Watch Future Islands Make Their Triumphant Letterman Return

Baltimore needed a win right about now, and it got a small one last night. When the great Baltimore band Future Islands appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman last year, they gave an absolutely sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You),” propelling themslves into the upper tier of indie bands in a single night after they’d laid the groundwork with years of tireless touring and a few albums’ worth of excellent songs. Letterman loved the performance so much that he turned it into a meme the very next night. Now that Letterman is in his final run of shows before retiring, he’s only bringing his favorite guests back, and Future Islands are one of them. Last night, they gave a moving, sincere, muscular performance of their new single “The Chase,” dedicating it to their adapted hometown and inviting Paul Shaffer and a few members of his band to sing backup. Once again, they absolutely seized their moment; it’s just a wonderful performance. At the same time as the show was airing, they released “The Chase” online, and they included a new song, the grand and sweeping B-side ballad “Haunted By You.” Both were recorded at Abbey Road in Austin, with Spoon’s Jim Eno producing. (A live version of “The Chase” recorded at London’s Abbey Road studio was previously released for Record Store Day.) They both sound pretty spectacular this morning. Below, watch the performance and listen to the recorded versions of “The Chase” and “Haunted By You.”

Here’s the single artwork:

“The Chase” b/w “Haunted By You” is out now digitally on 4AD and will get a limited 7″ release, too.