Future Island’s fourth album and debut for 4AD deserves the title Singles since it does play out like an album of individual tracks with great commercial potential all joined as one. The Baltimore trio’s powerful sound is based in synths and electric basslines, from J. Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion, respectively. Together, they layer and push forward an orchestrated groove that’s both modern and steeped in the tradition of Philly soul, glam rock, and postpunk. Singer Samuel T. Herring—a stage hound who captures the audience’s imagination with the movements of a boxer—provides a soulful croon on record that can turn into a virile growl. It’s Joy Division as ballet for “Back in the Tall Grass” and Blue Nile/Talk Talk/Roxy Music for the inescapable hooks of “Seasons (Waiting on You),” “Spirit," and “Doves.” Producer Chris Coady (known for his work with Beach House and Grizzly Bear) works with Welmers’ synth loops and smartly composed parts until everything meshes together beautifully for a perfect musicality.

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