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A Sleeping & A Forgetting
“An earnest, honest album full of personality and candor”
Appropriately set for a Valentine’s Day release, Islands churns out an emotional, heartfelt and intimate album as their first full-length release since 2009. The title of the album, which is either a reference to a short story written by Orson Scott Card or an ode by acclaimed Romantic poet William Wordsworth, lends to the thematic imagery that makes both subtle and not-so-subtle connections to dreams, illusions and the complicated world inside one’s head.
Bandleader Nick Thorburn’s silken, nearly-effortless vocals give the album a sweet, easy-going vibe. Standout tracks showcase the band’s collective power to craft punchy melodies that don’t detract from the impassioned, frequently-introspective lyrics that make this album much more interesting than most ubiquitous indie pop efforts. “Never Go Solo” is a piano-driven track that allows Thorburn to stray from his generally soft tone to a full-voiced, unshy performance, while featuring stabbing percussion woven throughout. “Hallways” is an upbeat, jaunty jam with great harmonies over high-pitched, staccato piano notes, hearty handclaps and what sounds like some genuine foot stomping.
As a whole, the album is a mid-paced affair that begins and ends with unhurried songs filled in with enough up-tempo tracks to keep listeners from using the record as a sleep aid. (ANTI-)