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About Islands

Every sound and lyric in Islands’ wistful, wandering, experimental pop seems born of cathartic necessity, no matter how lush or knotty the arrangement. In 2005, the Montreal band emerged from the ashes of indie darlings The Unicorns, evolving into a deeply personal and prolific outlet for frontman Nicholas Thorburn (a.k.a. Nick Diamonds). Featuring ex-Unicorns drummer Jamie Thompson and a guest list full of Canadian indie luminaries (including members of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade), Islands’ 2006 debut album, Return to the Sea, established the band’s playful, unpredictable indie pop, with a dash of calypso, rap, and psychedelia. Over the next decade, Thorburn continued to expand on that sound—while digging ever deeper into his psyche—through the sprawling, strings-rich prog of 2008’s Arm’s Way; the yearning, intimate melodies of A Sleep & a Forgetting; and the ambitious rock of 2016’s Should I Remain Here at Sea? and its electronic counterpart Taste. In between, Thorburn joined indie supergroup Mister Heavenly, fronted hip-hop duo Reefer, released a few solo albums, and composed a score for the Serial podcast. Still, he reserves his most freewheeling ideas for Islands, jumping back into the band after a five-year hiatus with 2021’s disco-flavored Islomania.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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