Future Islands keep getting bigger (w/ Eyedrum 11/17/2010 setlist)

That video above is from Future Islands’ first acoustic show at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore.  In advance of that performance, they recorded a four song acoustic EP featuring “Vireo’s Eye” and 3 of their other songs done in the style seen above.  If you’ve heard the original versions, the differences are fairly dramatic.  They totally work, too.

The Undressed EP is just one in a series of great releases the band has put out this year.  The first was the In the Fall EP, which featured Katrina Ford from Celebration on the title track, which has become a staple and highlight of their live sets.  After that was a four song remix EP (Post Office Wave Chapel) that had work from heavy hitters like No Age, Javelin, and Victoria Legrand.  Then came their sophomore full length, In Evening Air, which I still consider the best album of 2010.  Undressed followed the full length, and now their most recent release is a split 7″ with Lonnie Walker.

That’s a lot of material, and it’s all been pretty damn great.  I’m bringing this all up to explain why I don’t think there’s another band who has had as good a year as Future Islands.  Judging by their rising internet profile and the increasing attendance at the three Atlanta shows they’ve played in 2010, I’d say they’re being justly rewarded.  Back in May they played to maybe 40 people at 529 (review), and they weren’t even the headliner.  When they returned to 529 in July (review), that number more than doubled – the place was pretty crowded.  Last night’s crowd at Eyedrum would have sold the hell out of 529.

The live show surely has had something to do with their success, but they never pander.  They typically start with a slow-burner, and their last two Atlanta sets have even opened with an unreleased new song.  “Tin Man” or “Walking Through That Door” aren’t showing up til mid-set.  The whole catalog is fair game, too – last night’s set was a pretty eclectic selection from five different releases.  Not that it matters that much of the audience isn’t familiar with all the material – I don’t think they’ve ever met a crowd they couldn’t win over.

Watching this band blow up has been one of the musical highlights of my year.  If you’re not on the bandwagon yet, fix it.

Setlist from last night after the jump.

Eyedrum setlist (11/17/2010):

new songs (“On the Water” maybe?)

An Apology

Heart Grows Old

Pinnochio

Inch of Dust

Walking Through That Door

Tin Man

Long Flight

The Inkwell

In the Fall

The Happiness Being Twice

Vireo’s Eye

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