MOVIN’ ON UP: Speaking of Muddy Waters and its glorious booking history (see cover story), it seems serendipitous that this weekend also brings Future Islands back to the 805. During the course of the last two years, the Baltimore-based three-piece has swung through town twice to play for some very packed Muddy crowds. (Last time around, the show sold out so fast that the band ended up playing two stunning back-to-back sets over the course of one very memorable night.) This Friday, August 31, the trio returns to S.B. en route to their Saturday gig at L.A.’s FYF Fest.
Since forming in 2006, Future Islands have won over fans with their distinctive sound and famously theatrical deliveries. Together, Gerrit Welmers’s post-punk synths and William Cashion’s propulsive bass lines mix and mingle with driving drum machine beats, all of which play off of frontman Samuel T. Herring’s beautifully booming — and eerily haunting — vocals. The band’s third and latest album, 2011’s On the Water, finds the trio exploring new tones and textures and pushing their sound outside the comfort zone occupied by their more danceable early records. It also marks the band’s most impressive and cohesive songwriting to date, with lyrics that speak poignantly and poetically about finding hope in the face of life’s greatest twists, turns, and tragedies. Nowadays, Future Islands are splitting their time between festival shows, short tours, and some much-deserved R&R. They’re also slowly starting to work on new material. Earlier this month the band unveiled “Cotton Flower,” and next week marks the release of their new seven-inch single, “Tomorrow”/“Fountain.”
“There are a couple other B-sides floating around, too,” Herring explained last week, phoning in from outside his favorite record shop in Baltimore. “We’ve been writing new stuff and we’ll be playing at least a couple brand-new things when we’re out west, all stuff we’ve written in the last month or month and a half. But I’m excited about just getting off the road for a while. We’ve been working really hard for the last four or five years, so I’m ready to relax and let things come to us in a more natural way.”
Before that break, the band plugs in at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) for an all-ages show that I, no joke, have been looking forward to all summer. For tickets and information, call 965-8676 or visit clubmercy.com.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: Also this week, Wild Nothing makes a stop at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Monday, September 3, in support of its latest, Nocturnes. The project and brainchild of Jack Tatum, Wild Nothing’s story plays out like a digital-age Cinderella tale. Born during Tatum’s time at Virginia Tech, Wild Nothing got an early leg up after a few Myspace tracks caught the ears of the folks at Captured Tracks. Not long after, Tatum had earned himself a fervent word-of-mouth following, without so much as an album to his name. On Wild Nothing’s debut, 2010’s glorious Gemini, Tatum formally introduced himself as a man with an ear for detail-oriented guitar-pop, similar in style, and with nostalgic nods to, acts like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. As time has gone on, though, Wild Nothing has established itself as something much more than a dreamy indie-rock act. On Nocturnes, electronic drums get traded in for the real thing, and synth flourishes stretch out right alongside Tatum’s potent, twinkling guitar tones. As a whole, the album straddles the lines between catchy and moody, hook-driven and ambient-feeling. It also promises to make for one hell of a live listening party. The show starts at 8 p.m. with opener DIIV. For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.