Track/Video Review — “An Apology” Future Islands
Late in this live performance of “An Apology,” Future Islands lead singer Sam Herring stares past the camera, his exhausted countenance drifting in-and-out of focus, the warm-hued, spinning disco lights dancing across his face like psychedelic ambulance lights, rushing to save someone already too far gone, someone already so far away.
The video puts a face to Herring’s guttural moans on this emotionally wrenching four-minute synth-pop gem; the stage lighting is drenched in red, a color matched by the pulsing heartbeat of the songs’ drum machine and the pink hiss of smoke machines outside the frame. Herring prowls the stage, clutching the microphone and seizing up during the verse, seemingly yelling at, not into, the microphone. His hulking mannerism suggest that this is more of a warning than an apology:
Here in the tremble and pulse,
With the rush and the weight of the world.
I am a cannibal, known,
Begging the lashes to break.
Herring plays the cannibal to perfection, ripping his throat as he howls out the last lines of the song, devouring his own creation on-stage until his eyes turn vacant, the energy gone, the song receding to a crisp snare drum. The video ends as Herring lick his lips and stumbles towards the crowd with his mouth open, stopping himself from swallowing the audience whole only by biting at his own arm; the growling heat of the moment now just a memory, drifting out of focus, seemingly so far away.