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5 Bands like Future Islands: Powerfully Passionate Synthpop
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5 Bands like Future Islands: Powerfully Passionate Synthpop

Stephen Jenkins itcherFuture Islands are a synthpop outfit which you just can’t help but dance to: just ask the band’s lead singer! The truth is that Future Islands just make your body go into some weird shapes, often against your will. If that sounds like something you would be into, then check out this list of bands like Future Islands, including Metronomy, Delhic and Toro y Moi. ~ Stephen Jenkins

Music That Was Made for Dancing

Future Islands had been knocking about on the peripheries of the American music scene for quite a few years until they released their fourth album, “Singles”, in 2014.

And then it all blew up. The Baltimore band went from plucky outsiders to being the name on every self-respecting music fan’s lips. Their song “Seasons (Waiting on You)” was even named best song of the year by a number of high profile music mags.

So what changed it all? A dance. Yep, a dance can change everything – just ask Napoleon Dynamite.

On their first big television debut, the band performed with aplomb, playing all the right chords and what not. But the star of the show was singer Samuel T. Herring’s bold and bodacious dance moves. Knees bent, shoulders shimmying and head bopping seamlessly to the beat.

It’s the stuff of legends. It makes the hairs on your neck stand on end. It made David Letterman grin like a child.

Here are some more synthpop bands like Future Islands which might just make you dance like a maniac too.


Bands Similar to Future Islands…


Essential Albums: ‘Nights Out’, ‘The English Riviera’, ‘Love Letters’

Essential Tracks: ‘The Look’, ‘The Bay’, ‘She Wants’

Much like Future Islands, this band from Devon, England, were relatively unknown until they unleashed a massively critically acclaimed album.

It was called ‘The English Riviera’ and it was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Music award. It didn’t win, but I put that down to the lack of hip movement in live performances.

Similarity Match: 80%
Metronomy and Future Islands both rely heavily on electronic synthesisers and chunky yet funky bass-lines but the two bands have two very different vocal styles.


Essential Albums: ‘Acolyte’, ‘Collections’, ‘Get Familiar’

Essential Tracks: ‘Baiya’, ‘Doubt’, ‘Counterpoint’, ‘Ppp’

This band from Stockport, England, has released a few albums to date and has so far exhibited an impressive knack for electronically infused indie rock.

The band even had the honour of releasing an official 2012 Olympics single called “Good Life”. However, I’d recommend that you stay well clear of it, because, just like the Olympics, it is a tiresome ordeal.

Stick to their debut album “Acolyte” for futuristic indie gorgeousness.

Similarity Match: 70%
Both Delphic and Future Islands have sound that is driven by synthesisers yet the UK based band tends to use their electronics in a way which is more reminiscent of house and techno music.

Toro y Moi

Essential Albums: ‘Underneath the Pine’, ‘Anything in Return’, ‘What For?’

Essential Tracks: ‘Say That’, ‘Studies’, ‘Empty Nesters’, ‘New Beat’

Toro y Moi is the musical alias of South Carolina songster, Chazwick Bradley Bundick. This singer-songwriter cum producer mixes elements of analogue with digital to create soulful sounds which will beckon your shoulders to shimmy and your hips to gyrate.

For your safety and dignity, I advise you to listen in open spaces with plenty of room for limb movement – just like in the video below.

Similarity Match: 60%
Despite both acts beings utterly dance-worthy, Toro y Moi’s sound is far more embellished with influences from hip-hop and soul music whereas Future Islands like to keep things clean and simple.


If You Like Future Islands, You Will Like…

Believe it or not, Future Islands does bring more to the table than just dance moves. In paradoxical fact, the band brings forth a wall of emotion in many of their live performances – which is kind of what makes the booty bopping all the more jarring and spellbinding.

So, here are some more bands similar to Future Islands who will make you sob, bop, wail and whirl all at the same time. Just make sure you don’t slip in your own puddle of tears.

Wild Nothing

Essential Albums: ‘Gemini’, ‘Nocturne’, ‘Golden Estate’ (EP)

Essential Tracks: ‘Paradise’, ‘Confirmation’, ‘Ocean Repeating (Big-Eyed Girl)’

Wild Nothing is the musical brainchild of multi-instrumentalist, Jack Tatum, from Blacksburg, Virginia.

The sound is delicately wistful with an undertone of danceable funk which is brought through by driving basslines and soaring synthesisers.

Wild Nothing’s sound may be textured with jangling guitars but they are cut from the same musical cloth as Future Islands with their emotionally astute yet vibrant and dynamic sound.

Alabama Shakes

Essential Albums: ‘Boys & Girls’, ‘Sound & Light’

Essential Tracks: ‘Hold On’, ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’, ‘Future People’

Alabama Shakes burst on to the scene in 2012 when they released their hugely popular debut single, ‘Hold On’.

The band’s sound is dominated by the roots of blues music from their native Southern US. But the Alabama-based group’s most distinctive trait is undoubtedly the fragile power of singer Brittany Howard’s vocals.

Don’t forget to also have a look at these other bands similar to Alabama Shakes.

Both Brittany Howard and Samuel T. Herring know how to belt out an emotional lyric even if their bands do go down different paths when it comes to genre.


Get on Your Dancing Shoes

If you’re still reading this then my guess is that you still have control of your body and haven’t broken out into a spontaneous boogie. In which case, are you human? What is your secret of rhythmic restraint?

Please post the answers to these questions in the comments section below.

Oh, and while you’re at it, you could also suggest a band like Future Islands which I missed from this list?

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