Tag Archives: daytrotter session

[hot off the press] Islands//A Sleep & A Forgetting

Canada’s indie rock outfit Islands recently announced the name and release date of their forthcoming LP — A Sleep & A Forgetting.  I love love love Islands, so naturally this news was the highlight of my day.

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,” 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. I started writing it on Valentine’s Day and it’s coming out on Valentine’s Day.”

A Sleep & A Forgetting is the anticipated follow up to Islands’ critically heralded record Vapours, which Black Book described as “infectious and weird….masterful” and Popmatters proclaimed “a damn fine record.” 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.

The new album offers all the shimmering sonic textures and irresistible melodies that have come to define Islands’ enduring appeal, but there is a deeply personal cathartic undercurrent to the songs. “The sound is really my interpretation of soul music,” Thorburn offers. “I mean, I’m a white kid from Canada so it’s gonna be very warped. But that’s where my head was at, that particular way of dealing with themes of pain and heartbreak.” [source: antilabelblog]

A Sleep & A Forgetting is due out this February 14th via Anti-Records.  In the meantime, be sure to check out Thorburn’s side project/supergroup Mister Heavenly, which should tide you over until Valentine’s Day.

♫ Islands – Swans [Life After Death] (daytrotter session) ♫

♫ Mister Heavenly – Pineapple Girl ♫

Cameron McGill & What Army//Is a Beast

Cameron McGill & What Army are set to release their fifth full-length studio album, Is a Beast, next month (out 4/12, pre-order here).

The new album finds the band in exciting new territory after two years of solid touring and their most expiremental lineup to date: Daniel McMahon (guitar), Rodrigo Palma (bass), and Darren Garvey (drums).  The album was recorded this past winter in Milwaukee, WI, and follows their Deserters EP (2010), Daytrotter session (2010), Sad Ambassador 7” single (2010), Two Hits and A Miss EP (2009), Warm Songs For Cold Shoulders (2009), Hold on Beauty (2008), Street Ballads & Murderesques (2006), and Stories of The Knife and The Back (2004).  Needless to say, Mr. McGill and company have been quite busy.

It’s easy to compare the band’s sound to Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s (2009 saw McGill joining the band Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, for which he plays keyboard), but there’s also a hint of Archer Avenue, The Shins, The Silent Years, Spoon, and Wilco.  But even though the similarities exist, Cameron McGill & What Army bring more than enough of there own sound to the table.

I was lucky enough to get an advanced preview of Is a Beast and i’ve really enjoyed listening to it over the past couple of weeks.  The combination of indie-folk and catchy pop creates quite an infectious record.  With multiple listens down, I would say I Don’t Believe In Magic (But All My Friends Just Disappeared) is my favorite track, but I also really enjoy The Road To Hell Is Paved With Adverbs, Dublin Fights Songs, and Michelangelo’s Blue Period.

For more Cameron McGill & What Army, be sure to check out their website.  You can also catch the band on the road with national tour dates throughout 2011 (details here) and they just recorded a new Daytrotter session, which will be released later to coincide with the release of Is a Beast.

Cameron McGill & What Army – I Don’t Believe In Magic (But All My Friends Just Disappeared)