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” while Pitchfork called the trio’s sound as “totally natural and new.”
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.
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.” 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.