This Is Our Jam: Future Islands, "Balance"

Bands like LCD Soundsystem and The National are at their best not when they wallow in despair, but rather, when they speak to a sadness that has already begun to pass. With songs like “Slow Show” and “I Can Change,” they deal in equal parts depression and comforting reassurance. It’s music that comes from a place just slightly wiser and more world-weary than the listeners' own life.
While Baltimore’s Future Islands used to embody the DayGlo psychedelica and electro weirdness of Wham City, their new single “Balance” takes their sound to a more mature, less spastic place. Like LCD or The National, "Balance" strikes a careful, well, balance between resignation and renewed hope. It’s a song sung to a friend going through tough times, and it's an offer to help him or her set things right: “I’ll do anything for you / Because I want to see you through,” sings frontman Sam Herring. The only caveat? “It just takes time.” The late author David Foster Wallace once said, "In the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance." It's this sentiment that Future Islands fully embody. When Herring sings “You can change your life,” you just have to believe him.
Future Islands—On The Water
"On The Water"
All music is for sampling purposes only. Please go out and buy the artists' records. If you would like for us to remove a track, please email us at

More from Entertainment


R29 Original Series