Future Islands, Motor Skills | Wallace Plaza | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
This is a past event.

Future Islands, Motor Skills 

When: Thu., Aug. 25, 7 p.m. 2011
Price: Free
www.locally-grown.com

In Evening Air, the first album for Thrill Jockey Records by North Carolina expats Future Islands, opened with a big, bassy wallop. Keyboards chimed beneath a square and direct electronic drum hit, and frontman Sam Herring bounded into the mix, aggravated but aggressive. Those nine songs certainly weren't happy, overrun as they were with references to cheating and feelings of adulthood's betrayal of innocence and occasional lack of purpose. But in large part, thanks to the danceable heft of it all, there was a certain escapist hopefulness to In Evening Air, a suggestion that all these shitty days would eventually give way to something easier and believably better. But the forthcoming On the Water opens with nautical field recordings and shuffling feet, the clipped beat rising slowly and sadly from a field of loneliness. Herring is no less aggressive, but there's a resignation to his voice, a concession to the perseverance of hard times. Throughout, he sings of dreams fading and memories punishing, encroaching winter and unspeakable worries. We didn't expect Future Islands to be exactly happy, but On the Water is as unabashedly beautiful as it is broken. The crazy dance kids slow down, and that's certainly not a complaint. They play for free at Wallace Plaza in Chapel Hill with Motor Skills at 7 p.m., followed by DJ sets by the band at Nightlight starting at 9 p.m.—Grayson Currin

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