Canadian indie-rock outfit Islands have released their highly anticipated new album, 'Islomania', their first in 5 years, via Royal Mountain Records.
Including the previously released '(We Like To) Do It With The Lights On' and 'Set The Fairlight', as well as the third and final single release before the album 'Carpenter', 'Islomania' is the bands' 8th album release, more than 2 years in the making and comes after five years since Islands went dormant. Nick Thorburn resurrected the band, and 'Islomania' is a culmination of things he learned from the intervening period and all the things he’d accomplished during the band’s initial ten year run.
'Carpenter' opens with that jangly Cure-esque 70-80's indie rock vibe that we all love, channeling a great sense of nostalgia whilst still delivering something totally refreshing. The track takes a slight departure from the sound of the previous two singles and demonstrates the evolution in the band, featuring a shimmering arrangement of plucky guitar riffs, cool synth lines and electronic flourishes but the vocal is unmistakeable, with it's distinctive fuzzy, almost distorted tone.
On the track, Nick Thorburn explains,
"This one was an early song that I demoed at home as a little throwaway. Unfinished, it sat on a folder on my computer collecting digital dust until I stumbled upon it many months later. I had completely forgotten about it and listening back, I was totally caught off guard. It sounded like I was singing someone else’s song. I was excited so I set about finishing it immediately. Once I’d tidied it up, I eventually brought it to producer Patrick Ford, who helped the band fine-tune the push and pull with regards to the quiet/loud sections. Lyrically it’s like a “woulda coulda shoulda” sliding doors-type imagining."
The initial session at Sunset Sound featured Mike Stroud (RATATAT) on guitar, who then invited Thorburn to his studio in the Catskills, where they worked on another song, 'A Passionate Age'. With Islands bassist Evan Gordon soon brought into the fold, 'Islomania' slowly came to life over the coming year, with more sessions in LA involving producer Patrick Ford and Coady. When the songs had been sufficiently finessed, they brought on John Congleton to mix and Joe LaPorta to master.
Noting that Islands simultaneously released 2016 albums 'Taste' and 'Should I Remain Here at Sea?' were completely recorded in a three-week span, Nick says,
“I was determined to let the record breathe, let the process take as long as it needed. I wanted the freedom to rework the songs as we went along,”
Through this unhurried process, Islands found an entirely new form for their idiosyncratic blend of art rock and synth-pop, ultimately arriving at their strongest record yet. Over the course of ten groove-heavy songs, 'Islomania' flits from the ridiculous to the sublime.
'Islomania' is out now.
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