Review Sunday: Future Islands – “Ran”

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Future Islands
“Ran”
The Far Field
4AD

Ever since their iconic breakthrough performance in Late Show with David Letterman, Future Islands has established themselves as one of the bands that’s filled with such ardor and fervor. Sam Herring’s peculiar act on stage somehow doesn’t match his growl-y voice that easily fits into a death metal band. But, trust Future Islands to make a love song that sounds so intense, filled with sense of urgency, and bitter at the same time. Their first taste from the fourth album, “Ran” is no exception.

Herring doesn’t waste any time, straightaway expressing his hunger and his longing emotion, at the beginning of the song, “Ingest, where it goes, nobody sees but me/ So perfect and so sweet”. Between the galvanizing keyboard sound and sleekly-produced drum beat, Herring confesses his true feeling for his lost love in chorus that sounds straightly ripped-off from “Seasons”, yet it still feels fresh, strong, and full of energy. Herring is at his best when he’s being sweet (“When every song I write is about you/ When I can’t hold myself without you”), and he successfully makes us forget that “Ran” is a song about a relationship that’s (probably) broken. Only, Future Islands can make a heartbreak song with such high level of optimism.

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