In 2005, Montreal’s the Unicorns would disassemble and regenerate as the band Islands. The Unicorns dabbled in experimental pop music that had a signature low-fi sound. Islands, on the other hand, lends itself to a more futuristic pop sound.
Islands was formed by two former members of the Unicorns, Nick “Diamonds” Thorburn (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Jamie Thompson (drums). Since their 2005 formation, Islands’ roster has featured numerous contributors, both on stage and on record, including the likes of Alex and Sebastian Chow, Jim Gunthrie, and rappers Subtitle and Busdriver.
In a short span of time, Islands became a household name within the Montreal rock scene. Their 2006 debut album, Return to the Sea, was recorded in Thompson’s bedroom and featured members of fellow Montreal bands Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. In support of the album’s international release, Islands went on tour with Metric. Shortly after the tour ended, founding member and drummer, Jamie Thompson, made the announcement that he was leaving the band.
Two years later, Islands signed a contract with ANTI- Records and released their second album, Arm’s Way. Thompson briefly rejoined the band and appeared on their third album, Vapours, only to leave again in 2010. Aaron Harris, a band member between 2006 and 2009, would replace Thompson in the lineup.
Islands’ 2012 album, A Sleep & A Forgetting, was inspired by the break-up of Nick Thorburn’s marriage—the music on the album is considered the most sincere and direct music of the band’s career thus far. A Sleep & A Forgetting was produced by Thorburn and fellow Islands member Evan Gordon in less than two weeks—all the songs were recorded live off the floor.
News about Islands
New sources uncovered today actually reveal that Beatles bassist Paul McCarthey has for real actually been dead for forty yeaHahaHaHahHahHa JOKING IDIOTS WE GOT YOu. Listen, we get it: April Fool's Day was a lot of fun when you were 12. But we're grown up now, and couple that with the natural over-saturation that comes with the Internet, and the day is basically absolutely insufferable. Still, it's not to say there haven't been some gems over the years. Below, we've outlined a brief history of music's best, brightest and lulziest pranks. Hanson's Slipknot cover album Three years ago, Hanson announced they were going to record an album consisting entirely of Slipknot covers, and they went full in on the joke. First, they told VH1 they thought Slipknot were underrated, and concurrently released a horribly filmed clip of them covering "Wait and Bleed" in their hotel room. Honestly? We'd be into listening to this. Animalia, Sony's line of headphones for cats and speakers for hamsters In addition to its K9 friendly TV, Last year, Sony totally #pranked the internet with its #techforpets line Animalia, which in addition to its K9-friendly TV offered consumers the chance to buy Kitty Can headphones and In-Cage Speakers, offering sound solutions for their cats and hamsters. But it was all a hilarious joke! YouTube RickRolls the Internet Like most things on the Internet, Rickrolling—bait-and-switch linking to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" instead of the expected video—started on 4Chan. Within the year, millions of suckers were tricked into watching the gangly ginger singer dance around in his denim jumper, and by April 2008, YouTube had gone full in on the joke when it linked every video on its front page to the clip. Unrelated, but click here for an exclusive leak of the new Kanye West song. The White Stripes reunite with Tilda Swinton on drums As an actress, Tilda Swinton is almost amorphous, able to cloak herself in seemingly any role. So, then, it was almost plausible when The Beat reported last year that she would back a White Stripes reunion on the drums. "White's roots are routed to the crossroads. Crossroads can reveal themselves to be mobius," said Swinton, allegedly from inside a glass box at the MOMA. "And here we are, re-routed to the roots of Jack White as he rediscovers his roots." The reunion was supposed to culminate in a Record Store Day full length called Evangelical Trout only, y'know, April Fools. Nine Inch Nails collaborate with Timbaland This one is great because of the added context Trent Reznor's upcoming tour with Soundgarden provides. Before becoming buds again to co-support the 20th anniversaries of The Downward Spiral and Superunknown Trent Reznor could be found online talking shit about Chris Cornell's solo album. Namely, his collaboration with Timbaland. "You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable?" said Reznor in a since deleted Tweet in 2009. "Heard Chris Cornell’s record? Jesus.” Then, a few months later, he announced Strobe Light, Nine Inch Nails' own collaboration with the hip-hop super producer and an album that would reportedly feature everyone from Sheryl Crow and Bono to Maynard James Keenan and Alicia Keys. Its press quote is below, and the original website is still totally accessible for your smirking pleasure. To download NIN's new full-length album Strobe Light, PRODUCED BY TIMBALAND, enter a valid email address in the fields below. A download link will be sent to you immediately. Your credit card will be charged $18.98 plus a $10 digital delivery convenience fee. Your files will arrive as windows media files playable on quite a few players with your name embedded all over them just in case you lose them. You will also receive an exclusive photo and a free email account with our partner Google's Gmail service. Your email will be kept confidential and will not be used for spam, unless we can make some money selling it. Islands singer Nicholas Thorburn announces his own death RIP Nick Thorburn 1981-2013— Nick Thorburn (@NickfromIslands) April 1, 2013 Check. Mate. Soundcloud's Dropometer Similar to our dubstep machine, which added wubs and drops to any website of your choosing, Soundcloud announced its Dropometer last year with one simple concept: Preparation. "The drop in a track can be unpredictable and surprising," read the prank's official press release. "Some of you have even told us that you find it unsettling, not knowing when to expect that sense of overwhelming euphoria. Inspired by your feedback, we’ve invented the Dropometer." Using a "unique algorithm," the Dropometer was an indicator for when the drop was coming, which Soundcloud said was as useful for 17th-century symphonies as Skrillex's "Bangarang." Bald Justin Bieber There's two sides to this one, and while neither happened on April 1st, it's too good not to share. In August 2012, Justin Bieber went on record dissing Prince William's bald spot. "I mean, there are things to prevent that nowadays," he told Rollercoaster magazine. "You just take Propecia and your hair grows back." That led us to have some fun at Bieber's expense with some admittedly crude artist renderings of what he'd look like with a similar receding hairline. But the joke came full circle in October when false rumours started circulating that Bieber had been diagnosed with cancer, and with that came the #BaldForBieber. Because the Internet, a bunch of gullible tweens joined in, shaving their heads in solidarity for the pint sized pop star.
PHOTOS: Islands at The Horseshoe TavernIslands at The Horseshoe Tavern, March 15, 2014.
PREMIERE: Watch Islands perform "Shotgun Vision" in a saloon in the desertIn the Golden State, there are few cooler places to play than Pappy & Harriet's. Isolated in the deserts of Joshua Tree, Calif., the motel looks like something lifted from True Grit—it's a dusty cowboy saloon; a place you'd go slurp brown substances out of filthy mason jars. Pappy & Harriet's dusty charm makes it the subject of legends—heck, the watering hole has its own documentary, premiering at SXSW this year—and accordingly, it's the perfect spot for music. Montreal indie-pop institution Islands, for their part, share our obsession with the saloon. So much so, in fact, that they decided to make it the subject of their latest tour vid—and today, we're stoked to premiere the Matt Goodhue-directed video for "Shotgun Vision," taken from their 2013 album, Ski Mask. Shot on a recent tour stop, the venue's stars 'n' bars backdrop, swinging saloon doors, and all-round Wild Western appeal nearly steals the spotlight—that is, until Nick Thorburn and co. leap into action. Islands, for their part, will also be taking their nuanced, charmingly off-kilter act on the road. They're in the midst of a full Canadian tour this March, and, if we're lucky, we'll hear some of Thorburn's comedy between songs. (Along with his hilarious illustrations, he's also made appearances on podcasts like Yo, Is This Racist? and The Bone Zone. Undoubtedly, dude loves his comedy.) Here's their full list of dates below. March 13 – Montreal, QC, La Sala Rossa March 14 – Guelph, ON, Ebar March 15 – Toronto, ON, Horseshoe Tavern March 21 – Winnipeg, MB, Pyramid Cabaret March 22 – Regina, SK, Cultural Exchange March 23 – Saskatoon, SK, Amigo’s March 25 – Calgary, AB, Republik March 26 – Edmonton, AB, The Starlite March 29 – Rossland, BC, Rafters @ Red Mountain March 31 – Vancouver, BC,Fo rtune Sound Club April 1 – Victoria, BC, Lucky Bar
PHOTOS: Islands at the Music GalleryIslands at the Music Gallery on February 28, 2012
Watch the new Islands video, "Hallways"Islands have released a video for "Hallways" from new album A Sleep & A Forgetting, and if you like goofy skeleton marionettes, you'll love it. It features band frontman Nick Thorburn leading a band of skeletons, and eventually becoming one himself. Watch the Lex Halaby and Toben Seymour directed video above.