Singles - 4AD
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Breanna Murphy on March 24, 2014
There is simply no voice in music today quite like Samuel T. Herring’s. Absolutely untraditional and perpetually in conflict with itself, calling his vocals “beautiful” does not seem right, but again and again they—low, monotone wickedness that erupt into high, warbly mania—weirdly cannot be described as anything less than. Equal to Herring’s unparalleled vocal performances are bassist/guitarist William Cashion and electronic multi-instrumentalist Gerrit Welmers, who fuel Future Islands with an alluring sound that masters thoughtfully gentle and sorrowful songs as skillfully as triumphantly ecstatic and unrestrained ones. On Singles, their first for 4AD, the band perfect the persuasive and pervasive nature of pop. “Seasons (Waiting On You),” the album’s debut single and initial track, is a swift and sped-up synth departure from anything last heard from the band on 2011’s excellent On the Water. And there’s so much more to dive into here; whatever bar the band set for themselves, Singles soars above and beyond any limitation and all expectation.