At the end of this month, Future Islands will release their highly anticipated new album, People Who Aren’t There Anymore (26 January 2024). The band have shared another new song, ‘Say Goodbye,’ an examination of a long distance relationship unravelling, with Samuel T. Herring crooning: “When I don’t wanna say goodnight / And every day without you feels one closer to goodbye / I just need to make this world seem right / You just sleep tight, til I’m on your side.”
‘Say Goodbye’ follows previously released songs ‘The Fight,’ ‘Deep in the Night’, ‘King of Sweden’ and ‘Peach’. More recently, the band shared ‘The Tower,’ alongside a video directed by Jonathan van Tulleken (Top Boy, Shogun). This marks the second project Van Tulleken and Herring have worked on together following Apple TV’s The Changeling, whose first season aired this fall.
From the start, Future Islands have been singular and instantly identifiable, with Herring’s life-worn croons and cries backlit by Gerrit Welmers’ melodies and charged by the rhythms of William Cashion and Michael Lowry. That premise hasn’t changed on People Who Aren’t There Anymore, but never before has the band sounded so empathetic and Herring so integrated, with what he is singing and how they sound blended like a dioramic mosaic.
People Who Aren’t There Anymore, the band’s seventh album, heralds a new chapter for Future Islands who, despite having formed nearly two decades ago, continue to challenge themselves and each other. Where they’ve pursued ever-higher energy anthems in the past, they’ve turned inward this time and unlocked a new level of ferocity. The album delivers some of their most inspiring and heart-breaking tracks by doing the opposite: taking their time, and making each breath, syllable and cymbal crash count. The result is a powerful, defining statement from a group of musicians that have made the best album of their career.