Features, Film
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Road Dawgs: Future Islands Short Documentary

It’s certainly not wide off the mark to claim that there’s no other band quite like Future Islands at present. Besides releasing fabulous records year after year, including probably one of 2014’s foremost albums, the likeable synth-pop three-piece from Baltimore is particularly famed for Samuel T. Herring’s incredible stage presence. Every time I see him perform, I am genuinely wondering if that term has been created just for his own sake. Who’s been to one of their live shows before, probably knows what I’m talking about. If not, you’ll know soon enough. My first Future Islands taster must have been around 2010 in a tiny venue called ‘Sonic Ballroom’ crammed with maybe 149 other people. That place didn’t even have a proper stage. So we’d ended up face to face with an ecstatic frontman about to tick off any second. What is now a kind of known fact about Future Islands shows – at least since this epic performance – was not something I was particularly aware of back then: Screaming, roaring, awkwardly dancing like nobody’s watching, head banging, fists punching into the air, intense stares and breakdowns. It seemed like you’re watching a broken man opening his heart and soul, pouring out his every emotion onto the stage, living his songwriting with every pore of his body. ‘I feel like it’s my job to be honest and to break myself for the people that need that in their life’, Herring admits in Jay Buim’s new Future Islands mini-documentary ‘Road Dawgs’. It’s a very sincere, heart-warming glimpse behind the curtain, talking the most-recent wave of success, the band’s intense dedication to perform and their relationship with the audience in particular: ‘You’re creating an environment for people to feel emotion in a public setting, to give them the power…to be free.’ Boy, how does it get any better than this?

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