Future Islands is a new wave synthpop band based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The band is composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals). Their sound has been described as "terse yet passionate music wrought from a stripped back palette," where "Gerrit Welmers' synthesizer melodies tumble across the austere wilderness of William Cashion's post-punk bass pulse, driven ever forward by ecstatic electronic rhythms".
Future Islands is often associated with other bands affiliated with Wham City, such as videohippos, Santa Dads, Blood Baby, OCDJ, Adventure, Dan Deacon, Weekends, Double Dagger, and many others.
The band met and formed in Greenville, North Carolina, USA while studying art at East Carolina University. Their first band was Art Lord & The Self-Portraits, which was also composed of Adam Beeby and Kymia Nawabi and lasted from 2003 to 2005. In 2006, Cashion, Herring, and Welmers formed Future Islands, along with Erick Murillo, the bassist for The Kickass.
Future Islands released Little Advances in April 2006, and a self-released split CD with Welmers' solo project Moss Of Aura in January 2007. In July 2007, they recorded their debut album, Wave Like Home, with Chester Endersby Gwazda at Backdoor Skateshop in Greenville, North Carolina. After a Halloween party in 2007, Murillo quit the band. In late 2007 and early 2008, the band relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The "Feathers and Hallways" 7" was recorded in Oakland, California during their first US tour and was their first release as a focused three-piece. Upset! the Rhythm released Wave Like Home on 25 August 2008. The cover art was designed by Kymia Nawabi, a former member of Art Lord & The Self-Portraits.
In 2009 the band signed to independent Chicago record company Thrill Jockey.
Their second album, In Evening Air, was recorded in the band's living room in the historic Marble Hill neighborhood in Baltimore and released n 4 May 2010.
Their third full-length album, On the Water, was recorded in Elizabeth City, NC's historic, waterfront Andrew S. Sanders House. It was released on 11 October 2011.