Based in Baltimore, the birthplace of Tom Clancy and the setting of The Wire; this “synthpop” three-piece have a lot to live up to. On The Water represents the band's third full-length album, and the second to be released through Chicago indie label Thrill Jockey Records.

The most refreshing thing about this particular synthpop outfit, is that the synthesizers are used to create the sound of the band, as opposed to being used as a gimmick, which has been the case for many fallen musicians. Samuel Herring's voice, whose closest comparison would probably be Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe, offers versatility that is often underrated, allowing for the record to vary in pace but never let the vocals sound rushed or drawn out.

'Balance' represents the closest to pop that On The Water reaches, and also represents the highlight of the album. With an accelerated drum beat in comparison to the rest of the songs, it wouldn't look out of place on a Metronomy release. In Contrast, 'Where I Found You' is almost a lullaby, “you know I loved you / and I still do” is so simple lyrically, yet so effective in its execution across a song that is almost 6 minutes in length, yet never feels that it has outstayed its welcome. Future Islands can commend themselves for their varying sound, despite limiting themselves to three permanent members, which is something that a lot of bands struggle with when making a record, with some of the synths having a theremin quality to them. Sometimes the sound of synths can sound worn or grating by the end, but they are very careful to avoid that happening, whilst never varying their sound so much that the record sounds confused.

Whilst On The Water hits high points regularly throughout and is an accessible and enjoyable listen, there always seem to be the feeling that the tracks are building up to something, but only a handful of times do they ever feel complete. But the band don't seem short on ideas and as time goes by, they will almost definitely get more noticed.