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Future Islands: 5 songs we wish we wrote

Jon Dekel

It may have been more than two years since Future Islands blew up the internet with a guttural provocation of their 2014 smash “Seasons (Waiting on You),” but the trio admits it's still not quite over that.

“It's still hitting us,” singer Samuel T. Herring says. The Baltimore-based group's fifth album, The Far Field, is an attempt at “processing what happened without being too obvious,” bassist William Cashion explains. Luckily for fans, that process plays out through 12 chest-thumping, synth-charged tracks which affirm the band's resolute ability to produce GIF-inspiring bangers.

In advance of The Far Field’s release, the bandmates weighed in on songs they wish they had written.

Majical Cloudz, 'Silver Car Crash'

Herring: Some time in 2015, I travelled out to L.A. When I hit the ground, I texted my buddy Regan [a.k.a. Busdriver] looking for something to do. He had a guestlist spot to the Majical Cloudz show so we ended up going. We watched them play what would become Are You Alone?. I was blown away by the words. Every other line he would sing, Regan and I would elbow each other like, "Did you hear what he just said?!" The way he writes with such concise honesty — saying that hard thing in the simplest terms — is something that I strive for in my writing. Really, that whole record I love. It's a bummer they broke up.

Ozzy Osbourne, 'Mr Crowley'

Gerrit Welmers (keyboards): It has all the elements of a song that I love. When I was younger I always imagined being Randy Rhoads and playing that song onstage in front of thousands of people.

Teaspoon & the Waves, 'Oh Yeh Soweto'

Cashion: It is a really fierce bassline. It would have been dope if we wrote that.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, 'Blue Moon'

Herring: I'd love to sing that song.

Cashion: We were talking last night about how many great versions of this song there are. I think about Elvis' version, which is so haunting. But then there's the classic upbeat version.

Common, 'I Used to Love H.E.R'

Herring: This song was on every single mixtape I made when I was in high school. It's one of the songs that taught me how to write songs. That and "Hypnotic" by the Roots taught me how to make a turn at the end of the song. How to pull somebody into a story and then turn it at the end to break their hearts. Those songs were really important.

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