Islands photographed by Liam Maloney


Hometown: Montreal, QC (Canada)


Acclaimed modernist pop band Islands will release their new album A Sleep & A Forgetting this February 14th via Anti–Records. While A Sleep & A Forgetting continues the band‚??s penchant for crafting adventuresome and infectious state of the art pop music, this time band leader Nick Thorburn has infused the songs with a personal introspection that gives the record a new and powerful emotional resonance.

‚??This album is far more personal than any I‚??ve made before,‚?Ě Thorburn explains. ‚??I left New York after the end of a relationship and came to Los Angeles. There was a piano where I was staying and that‚??s where I wrote these songs. This record deals with loss, with memory and forgetting and with dreaming.‚?Ě

Islands began in 2005, emerging from the ashes of Montreal pop sensations The Unicorns. In their previous incarnation, they had crafted a vibrant distinctly low–fi sound that quickly made them cult sensations. Popmatters heralded The Unicorn‚??s distinct style as, ‚??genuinely great pop music that's experimental, catchy, and, most of all, weird‚?Ě while Pitchfork called the trio‚??s sound as ‚??totally natural and new.‚?Ě

With the Islands, Thorburn and his compatriots advanced a finely crafted futuristic pop sound. The group quickly became a sensation amidst the thriving Montreal rock scene. Their 2006 debut album Return To The Sea was recorded in the drummer‚??s bedroom and featured guest appearance by members of fellow Montreal bands Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. All Music Guide described the record as ‚??a rich, exciting, and emotionally deep sounding album.‚?Ě

A Sleep & A Forgetting is the Island‚??s fourth album and the follow up to their critically heralded record Vapours, which Black Book described as "infectious and weird....masterful.‚?Ě The new album was produced by Thorburn and fellow Islands member Evan Gordon in less than two weeks, the 11 songs recorded live with hardly a single overdub. It‚??s a stripped down process and beautifully understated sound which only reinforces the confessional content of the lyrics

Island‚??s latest offers all the shimmering sonic textures and irresistible melodies that have come to the band‚??s enduring appeal, but there is a deeply personal cathartic undercurrent to the songs. Far from being self pitying, A Sleep & A Forgetting powerfully transforms personal unrest into affecting and soulful pop music. ‚??It‚??s kind of frightening,‚?Ě Thorburn reflects. ‚??I‚??ve always hidden behind devices and humor but this album is just so much starker and open.‚?Ě And it‚??s a risk that absolutely pays off. The new record features some of the most startling and memorable songs from a supremely talented band that has continued to both evolve or surprise.

Related Bands

The Unicorns


Islands A Sleep & A Forgetting


A Sleep & A Forgetting (2012)


Islands Arm's Way


Arm's Way (2008)


Islands / Blueprint / Subtitle live in Bloomington

Islands / Blueprint / Subtitle

live in Bloomington (2006)

live show

Related News

Videos: Islands: "No You Don't" (featuring Michael Cera)
Islands have released a new video for "No You Don't", with the video featuring actor Michael Cera. The song comes from the Montreal band's 2009 full-length, Vapours. You can click Read…
January 07, 2010
Videos: Mariachi El Bronx, TV on the Radio, Dinosaur Jr., Frank Turner nominated for song of the year
The BBC has posted the list of nominees for it's 2009 "Song of the Year." The songs are up for a vote and the best tracks will be played on the station on New Year's…
December 07, 2009
Videos: Islands announce new album
Montreal, QC sextet Islands have announced initial details about their third album. The record is titled Vapours and is due out September 22, 2009, and will follow up…
June 22, 2009
Videos: Year End Lists: Onion AV Club, Stereogum, MTV
It's December, so music critics everywhere are raring to post their "Best of 2008" lists. To prevent every single story on Punknews.org from being another top ten list, we'll periodically summarize some of the more popular/submitted lists for you in a single story. The first batch includes The Onion AV Club who named Gaslight Anthem,…
December 10, 2008
Videos: Billy Bragg, Nick Cave, Man Man on new free Anti- Sampler
Anti- has launched a free sampler featuring music from the label's entire roster. Physical copies of the sampler are being given out with purchase by a number of retailers, but the entire thing can be downloaded here. The compilation includes songs from Jolie Holland, Islands, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lyrics Born,…
November 12, 2008
Videos: Islands post cover art, track list for "Arm's Way"
Montreal QC's Islands have posted the track list for their upcoming May 20, 2008 release Arm's Way. The album will be a follow up to their 2006 release Return to the…
May 13, 2008
Videos: The Weakerthans: "Night Windows"
Record label Anti– has posted a new video of The Weakerthans performing "Night Windows" live at SXSW. The label has also posted a slew of…
April 04, 2008
Videos: Islands signs to Anti-
Montreal's Islands have signed with Anti to release Arm's Way, their follow–up to 2006's acclaimed Return to the Sea. The album is scheduled for a May 20th release. One song slated to appear on the album, "The Arm," can be heard on the band's MySpace page. The band is about to embark on a tour of the UK and Europe…
February 13, 2008

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go