The chest-thumping throwback that is Future Islands wowed me with Seasons 3 years ago. 15 seconds into this new single, the underlying structure that is undeniably their signature all but teleports itself into your eardrums instantaneously, with no hint of the trite “creative new direction” that so many acts attempt and fail miserably at in a follow up effort. Don’t fix what ain’t broken, and given their past success, more of a good thing cannot go wrong.
Although Sam Herring’s vocal style here has veered toward a more colour-distorted expressionist (almost a tar-tinged throat) feeling, “Ran” still harbours the same longingly joyous ambience that made them so enjoyable. It is also still comparatively short at around 3:30 in length – which is quickly chipping away the rewind button lifespan on my headphones. Their next full length, The Far Field, will be out in April.