Future Islands – “The Tower”

Future Islands – “The Tower”

The great Baltimore art-pop ensemble Future Islands released As Long As You Are, their most recent album, deep in the pandemic days of 2020, but they didn’t let that slow them down. Singer Samuel T. Herring has continued to collaborate widely, appearing on recent records from artists like Algiers, R.A.P. Ferreira, and billy woods and Kenny Segal. Just last month, Herring teamed up with Baltimore fixture Height Keech to release The Fall Collection, a new album from his rap alter-ego Hemlock Ernst. Now, Future Islands have announced their next album, which is set to arrive early next year.

The new Future Islands album is called People Who Aren’t There Anymore, and if you’ve been keeping up with the band, you’ve already heard a handful of its tracks. Over the past few years, the band has already shared the early tracks “Peach,” “King Of Sweden,” and “Deep In The Night” as one-off singles. Today, they’ve also dropped a new one called “The Tower.” It’s a soft, haunted synth-rock jam with a buzzing low-end, and it makes lovely use of Samuel T. Herring’s singular voice.

Earlier this year, Samuel T. Herring made his acting debut on the Apple TV+ series The Changeling. Jonathan van Tulleken directed four episodes of that series, and he also directed the video for “The Tower.” Here’s what van Tulleken says about the new clip:

Anyone who’s seen Sam on stage shape shift with his whole body and voice from heart wrenchingly tender to fantastically ferocious knows that he is a truly, magnetic, performer. This was no small reason why he was cast for a role in The Changeling, where he plays a complex character who appears to be one thing whilst actually another. It was a role that would be no easy task for even the most seasoned actor, but Sam, applying all his stagecraft, charisma, smarts, and natural empathy, absolutely nailed it, producing a riveting performance. I loved working with someone who came to acting via this persona they had built in their music. To then get to collaborate on a music video with him was a delight, especially one which explores that duality of light and dark literally and metaphorically. Finding that same captivating, haunting, performance but this time with the track as script.

Below, check out the video for “The Tower” and the tracklist for People Who Aren’t There Anymore.

01 “King Of Sweden”
02 “The Tower”
03 “Deep In The Night”
04 “Say Goodbye”
05 “Give Me The Ghost Back”
06 “Corner Of My Eye”
07 “The Thief”
08 “Iris”
09 “The Fight”
10 “Peach”
11 “The Sickness”
12 “The Garden Wheel”

People Who Aren’t There Anymore is out 1/26/24 on 4AD.

Frank Hamilton

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