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


The Chatter

Film Producer Jason Michael Berman Talks Baltimore Roots and Latest Movie

The movie producer has Maryland roots, and his latest film, Nine Days, is getting major buzz.

Arts District

Everyman Theatre Launches Inaugural New Voices Festival

The festival features three plays, including one world premiere, by women, all performed in a brand-new space.

MaxSpace

Maryland Movie Corner: 'He's Just Not That Into You'

A new column reviewing films set locally, what they got right, and what they didn't.


Arts & Culture

The Moment Was Now

A historical musical takes an encore in Mount Vernon.

Food & Drink

Making Space

Baby's on Fire finds its niche in Fells Point.

Arts & Culture

Rising Son

Baltimore's McCaul Lombardi is making a name for himself in Hollywood, but he'll never forget where he came from.

Connect With Us

Most Read


John Waters Flexes Acting Muscles on 'Law & Order: SVU': The Baltimore icon will guest star on an episode of the NBC show later this month.

What Will Druid Hill Park Look Like in Two Years?: As Druid Lake Reservoir overhaul continues, city leaders consider activation options.

Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party

Baltimore Restaurants Cope With Indefinite Closures: Chefs introduce curbside takeout and delivery while weighing options for staff.

How to Support Small Businesses Amid Pandemic Panic: As foot traffic slows due to coronavirus, owners worry about lasting impacts.