It’s true that I have been craving some new Islands music since posting about Cuff the Duke at the beginning of January. Finally, the Canadians have come through for me. This Valentines Day they will be releasing their fourth album entitled, A Sleep & A Forgetting (for some reason I have yet to pick up Vapors, their 2009 release).
Frontman Nick Thorburn began composing the album a year ago Valentines Day at the end of a relationship and after moving from New York City to Los Angeles. Writing songs mainly about love and loss on a borrowed piano, Thorburn cites heavy influence from classic soul albums released by Smokey Robinson and the symphonic pop sound of Roy Orbison, while his darkly beautiful ballad Lonely Love eventually gives way to a Paul Simon-esque refrain, “I don’t want no part of this lonely love, I don’t want no part of this love”.
Despite its depressing subject matter, A Sleep & A Forgetting is on occasion cheerful, summoning an optimism associated with a scorned lover’s transformation into a reinvigorated and rejuvenated version of him/herself.
The album was recorded quickly over the course of two weeks “live, with hardly a single overdub”. It was the minimalist recording process that ANTI- records* (sister label to Epitaph Records) credits with giving the album the “stripped down.. and beautifully understated sound which.. reinforces the confessional content of the lyrics”.
A Sleep & A Forgetting illustrates a personal journey we have all undertaken, many times not by choice, but almost always for the best. Islands reminds the lovelorn that, if breaking up can sound this good, maybe life isn’t as bad as we thought it was.
[itunes id=”482475636″]. (Full Album Due Feb 14th, 2012)