Future Islands' debut album continues to be one of BlackPlastic's favourite releases of 2010. On the eve of their UK tour they release their Undressed EP - a selection of acoustic versions of songs (two of which come from the album In Evening Air) recorded for their hometown radio station WYPR.
Acoustic versions can be hit or miss - surprisingly Future Islands' material establishes a whole new level of maligned frustration stripped of the places to hide that its conventional production provides. The new versions of existing songs - 'An Apology' and 'Long Flight' - shine with a new found naked ugliness.
This is music doused in regret. 'Long Flight', already one of In Evening Air's highlights, shuffles back and forth whilst singer Sam Herring becomes increasingly meek and desperate, with the piano and string accompaniment encircling him like a pack of vultures.
The two non-album tracks are even better. Opener 'In The Fall' is heavy and downtrodden, with Herring's vocals more forceful and at home than they sound on the existing material. Closing track 'Little Dreamer' fittingly takes an opposite tack - the drums are as heavy as 'In The Fall' but the song itself feels as though it has been made of glass, a delicate and fragile piece that barely survives the attention it receives from the listener over the course of its three-minute duration.
On the back of the impressive In Evening Air, Undressed is proof enough that Future Islands boast bags of promise.
Undressed is released on Thrill Jockey on 20 September.
UK TOUR DATES:
Wed 29 Sep London, UK CAMP Basement
Thu 30 Sep Brighton, UK Freebutt
Fri 1 Oct Manchester, UK Islington Mill
Sat 2 Oct Glasgow, UK Cry Parrot
Sun 3 Oct Leeds, UK The Library
Wed 20 Oct Dublin, Ireland Workman's Club