Music Reviews: April 2017

The latest releases from Future Islands and Ken & Brad Kolodner.

By Lydia Woolever - April 2017

Music Reviews: April 2017

The latest releases from Future Islands and Ken & Brad Kolodner.

By Lydia Woolever - April 2017


Future Islands

The Far Field (4AD)

They say that the only constant in life is change, but there’s something to be said for the familiarity of Future Islands. After skyrocketing to indie stardom following their 2014 Singles (and Letterman appearance gone viral), we feared we might lose the band to the big wide world forever. But here they are with their fifth full-length album, and that same heartaching synth-pop dance music we fell in love with all those years ago. A decade later, frontman Sam Herring is that same shapeshifting spirit, his voice sashaying across each trackfull of longing, so potent and exposed—guided by William Cashion’s faithful bass, cocooned by Gerrit Welmers’ intoxicating melodies that permeate like a hazy dream. Sure, the trio has growntheir sound is more earthy and gentle yet urgent and robust; their bond has only strengthened with each mile of their tours. But they’re still the local muses we turn to in moments of wanderlust and heartbreak and joy, like confiding in an old friend. These new love songs and odes to the road continue to unabashedly embrace our emotions as they let go with abandon (“Ran”) or smash like a broken heart (“Shadows,” featuring the Debbie Harry). Future Islands is as pure and raw and imperfectly perfect as they ever were, just like Baltimore.


Ken & Brad Kolodner

The Swift House (self-released)

In the days of auto-tune and digital everything, the purity of Ken and Brad Kolodner is a breath of fresh air. Rooted in old-time music, the father-son duo makes effortless tunes that flow from their fingertips and hark back to pastoral days past. Their stripped-down arrangements let the music speak for itself, be it a toe-tapping instrumental or a narrative melody filled with soft harmonies and honey-coated vocals. Between Brad’s banjo, Ken’s fiddle and hammered dulcimer, and a few friends toting upright bass and guitar, it feels like a front-porch family jam session, and that’s precisely rightthis being their third album together, recorded right in their very own home. An acclaimed instrumentalist and rising folk favorite, respectively, Ken and Brad combine their talents into a dynamic interpretation of traditional music, and while their covers are an ode to their folk roots, it’s their gifted originals where the passion truly lies. Get lost in the luminous slow build of “Sap’s Rising/Dull Chisel,” or the unexpected jazz influence of the title track. And be sure not to miss their kindred collaboration live at the Creative Alliance on April 15.

See our full interview with father-son duo Ken & Brad Kolodner.





You May Also Like


Arts District

WTMD’s First Thursdays Go Virtual for the Rest of the Summer

The planned overhaul of the annual festival will be postponed until next year.

MaxSpace

Movie Review: Irresistible

The average episode of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show had more substance and humor than his new film.

The Chatter

The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature

A Baltimore writer curates an evolving list of women writers for her women followers.


MaxSpace

Movie Review: Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee takes on Vietnam, in his inimitable way.

Arts & Culture

Author Mary Rizzo Examines The Arts’ Role in Baltimore’s Identity

We talk to Rizzo about her new book, ’Come and Be Shocked.’

Arts & Culture

Five Local Makers to Support Right Now

We celebrate a sampling of local artists who’ve been cut off from their clientele by COVID-19.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Bottoms Up Bagels Rolls Into Harwood: Owners debut their new “BUB Hub” at 28th and Greenmount.

Boxer Yahu Blackwell Is An All-Everything Businessman: The 33-year-old Baltimore native is the owner of the new Rita’s Italian Ice in Hampden.

WTMD’s First Thursdays Go Virtual for the Rest of the Summer: The planned overhaul of the annual festival will be postponed until next year.

Five Things to Know About Democratic Mayoral Nominee Brandon Scott: The 36-year-old City Council President rallies past Sheila Dixon to win Democratic mayoral primary.

How These Surprise Quarantine ‘Flower Bombs’ Are Helping Families in Need: The paper-plate flowers have become a massive fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House.