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Listen to a new Future Islands song, see them at The Fillmore in May

Future Islands | via the band's Facebook page
Future Islands | via the band’s Facebook page

Baltimore synth pop trio Future Islands have just announced The Far Field, the follow-up to their breakout 2014 record Singles. They’ve already announced of slew of tour dates in support, and its debut single, “Ran” is out now. Put on your weird dancing shoes; then, stream the track below.

Future Islands’ sonic growth has always felt gradual and calculated. They’ve been refining their trademark sound since the mid-2000s, and they’re certainly not stopping now. Singles brought their sharpest hooks and production yet, but if “Ran” is any indication, they might just top themselves again with The Far Field. Continue reading →

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Get jolly, merry, etc. with the Indie Rock HOLIDAY Parade!

Sufjan Stevens, holiday style | Photo by Denny Renshaw
Sufjan Stevens | Photo by Denny Renshaw

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Time to celebrate the season with the Indie Rock HOLIDAY Parade on XPN! Tune in at 11pm ET (right after Land of the Lost with Robert Drake) for a full two-hour show that’s decked to the halls with holiday favorites new and old. In fact, a lot of what we’ll be hearing tonight is brand NEW, so be on the lookout for these musical jollies:

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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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Moves Like Sam Herring: Future Islands gets down at Union Transfer

Future Islands | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
Future Islands | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

If it was 2011, I’d say that Sam Herring has the proverbial “Moves Like Jagger.” But it’s not 2011. It’s 2015. Which is the year after 2014—the year that seemingly everyone and their grandmother woke up to the fact that Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring has the moves like Samuel T. Herring. Saturday night, Herring and the Future Islands crew brought the grooves and moves that hallmark their wild style to Union Transfer, for the first of two very sold out shows. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Skye Leppo’s most heavily rotated albums of 2014

photo courtesy of jessieware.tumblr.com
photo courtesy of jessieware.tumblr.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Skye Leppo shares her most heavily-rotated albums of the year.

While I maintain that my first love is pop music, I was very surprised—and delighted—by a lot of new projects and genres new to me this year. There’s a few albums I would have loved to include (Chet Faker’s electronic Built on Glass was THISCLOSE to making my list, as was LDR’s Ultraviolence). I tried to find common themes in my favorite 2014 releases, but as I sought guidance from my “Year In Music” charts on Spotify I realized this year’s releases pulled me in a lot of different directions without traipsing into too much common territory (although pop music did take the lead of my 39,000 listening minutes at 29%, or approximately 11,310 minutes of pop music). In no particular order, here are my most heavily-rotated albums. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: BADBADNOTGOOD remix Future Islands’ “Seasons (Waiting On You)”

BADBADNOTGOOD | Photo by Connor Olthuis
The Toronto jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD have a history of creating some incredible remixes, typically in the world of hip-hop, remixing Black Milk’s “Now Or Never,” Ghostface Killah and Danny Brown’s “Six Degrees,” and Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s “Shame.” Recently they took to re-imagining one of 2014’s best songs, “Seasons (Waiting on You)” by Future Islands. Continue reading →

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Hear the Best (and nothing but the best) of the Indie Rock Hit Parade tonight!

Future Islands | Photo by Timothy Saccenti
Future Islands | Photo by Timothy Saccenti

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to make your picks of the best music of the year! Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade features two full hours of the best of what 2014 had to offer. Starting at 10pm, we’ll hear tracks from some of our favorite newcomers as well as grand returns from old friends. And don’t forget to vote for your own Top 10 Songs of 2014 in the XPN Year In Review!

Here are a few things you’ll hear tonight:
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Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Seasons (Waiting On You)” by Future Islands

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Baltimore synth-pop band Future Islands are currently riding a wave of increasing popularity, based on the strength of their new album, Singles, and their charismatic lead singer Samuel T. Herring. They band is currently on a tour of mostly sold out shows, including their Philly show at the First Unitarian Church on Tuesday, April 29th.

Future Islands formed in 2006 in Greenville, North Carolina and have since released several albums, EP’s and singles. During the first week of March, the band were on the Late Show With David Letterman and this performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” became a viral hit. With some incredible dance moves, Future Islands’ lead singer Herring meme’d his way into the digital hearts of music fans with both a fantastic performance and a tumblr gif (see below) that had everyone sharing.

“Seasons (Waiting On You)” is 3 minutes and 47 seconds of pure, glorious, confident New Wave influenced synth pop. It leads off the album, but only hints at the musical depth of the entire record. Below, download the song via NPR Music.

Future-Islands-gif

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Future Islands will dance (and sing) their way into your hearts

Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR
Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR

During the first week of March, this performance of the song “Seasons (Waiting On You)” by the Baltimore band Future Islands on the Late Show With David Letterman became a viral hit. With some incredible dance moves, Future Islands’ lead singer Samuel Herring meme’d his way into the digital hearts of music fans with both a fantastic performance and a tumblr gif (see below) that had everyone sharing. That said, at this year’s SXSW, the three piece 80’s influenced synth-pop/rock band stormed through Austin. The band’s new album, Singles – out tomorrow – is an excellent collection of pop songs filled with big hooks and plenty of personality. Music writer Laurence Day sums up the album succinctly in his review of the album at The Line of Best Fit:

Singles is an effortless wonder. Each and every track runs its course avoiding any pitfalls: they not once sound laboured or tryhard, and although this is still very un-standard pop, Future Islands fool you into believing this is the bar from which we gauge the charts. It’s got bits that make you shimmy and/or shake, bits to force weeping and bits to grin sans gorm. It’s endlessly positive, even in the darker moments, providing a kind of opiate numbness – it’s all gloriously warm, and no matter what troubles exist in your world, they just fizzle away into the ether.

Below, download “Seasons (Waiting On You)” via NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation: 10 SXSW Discoveries Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing. The band are playing a sold out show at the First Presbyterian Church on April 29th.

Future-Islands-gif

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hop Along / The Sidekicks at The First Unitarian Church, Future Islands at World Café Live Wilm

hop alongIndie rock outfits Hop Along (from Philly) and The Sidekicks (from Columbus, Ohio) play a double header show at The First Unitarian Church tonight. Don’t miss it because Hop Along has two new songs they plan to debut on this tour. Check out show details and get tickets here. Watch The Sidekicks perform “Grace” in their Vegas Stripped Down Session and Hop Along’s video for “Sister Cities” below.

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