Tag Archive: “Islands”

Last summer, Islands decamped to a little studio in Toronto to make not one, but TWO new albums. Don’t get it twisted: This is not a double album, nor is it a case of editing gone awry. These are two distinct, entirely unique records, each one a wholly individual offering.

Taste, Islands’ 6th record, is a muscular, crystalline affair, with the majority of the music electronic, buoyed by drum machines, programming and arpeggiated vintage synths. The songs still flirt with Islands’ bread and butter; evergreens such as ennui, remorse, and a general disenchantment with the modern world hover over the tracks, with lines like “we got so thrown, we felt lost at home” and “steal a little moment, lose it like you own it”, to hammer home the point. The songs cut a wide swath, however, and also go in directions that Islands has never tackled, including police brutality and white male privilege (!).

Should I Remain Here At Sea? (a semi-reference to Tarkovsky’s Solaris), Islands’ 7th, is, in many ways, a spiritual sequel to the debut album, 2006’s Return to the Sea; a natural, raw record, stripped down to it’s essentials, performed live off the floor. Reflecting on the decade that has elapsed, SIRHAS kicks off with a darkly funny tartness, tackling religion, race, addiction, and murderous fantasies, but by midpoint, the songs give way to a resigned and doleful melancholia, tackling heartache, numb disillusionment and emotional disorientation through the guise of stupid parrots, the Internet, sea turtles and perhaps the loneliest maritimer to ever sail the seas. It was recorded as spontaneously as could be, with some of the songs captured live in one take, vocals and all. Both albums were produced by Nick Thorburn and Evan Gordon. Taste was mixed by Roger Levins and SIRHAS was mixed by Rob Schnapf.

About the process, Nick says: “Contained on these albums are the saddest songs I’ve ever written, the funniest songs I’ve ever written, the catchiest songs, and the most satisfying songs. Excuse all the superlatives, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever walked away from a recording process more fulfilled and invigorated.”

05.19 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B

05.20 Allston, MA @ Great Scott

05.21 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg

05.22 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

05.24 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel

05.25 Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner

05.26 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

05.27 Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch

05.28 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern

06.03 Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern

06.04 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret

06.05 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

06.07 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall

06.09 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom

06.10 San Diego, CA @ Casbah

06.11 Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon

Welcome to Future Sounds vol. 5!

Every other week, Ghettoblaster brings you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.


Outer Spaces – “I Saw You”

Outer Spaces is a new addition to the ever stellar Don Giovanni lineup, and it finds the label showcasing their softer side.  “I Saw You” is the first taste of the upcoming album A Shedding Snake and the appeal of Outer Spaces is abundantly clear over the course of this track.  This is nicely subtle but still intricate indie-rock with a wonderfully bright melodic chorus and an edge of darkness in the lyrics.  Outer Spaces cites Murmur-era Michael Stipe as an influence in songwriting and tone and the overall feel of the song is definitely reminiscent of this point of reference.  A Shedding Snake is out 5-27 via Don Giovanni.

Twin Peaks – “Holding Roses”

There is nothing quite like a great classic pop-rock song and straight out of the gate “Holding Roses” seems to be taken from a playlist of seminal classics.  Twin Peaks have crafted an immensely catchy gem with this song, combining smooth guitar riffs, clanking piano and a soaring chorus that will pop back into your head days later.  “Holding Roses” is the third taste they have provided from their upcoming album Down in Heaven, out on 5/13 via Grand Jury, and is definitely the best song of the bunch so far.


Islands – “The Joke”

Ever since Nick Diamonds appeared on the scene as a member of The Unicorns there has been something special about his songwriting ability.  He has been able to endure some big stylistic changes over the years, releasing albums in the band Islands as well as under the name Nick Diamonds.  Islands is now prepping two albums to be simultaneously released by Manque Music on 5/13.  The two albums find Islands showing off two different styles in which they thrive.  Taste will be the more synth driven pop-rock record, while Should I Remain Here at Sea? will focus on straightforward guitar driven pop-rock.  Islands has released several singles in pairs of twos over the course of the last couple months, but “The Joke” from Taste sticks out from the bunch.  This is a very catchy, very dance-able song with a synth line straight out of The Good the Bad and the Ugly.  All of the singles from both albums have been stellar thus far making this duo of albums a definite must listen in May.


Car Seat Headrest – “Fill in the Blank”

Teens of Denial is already set to send Car Seat Headrest into indie rock superstardom.  Critics from all over the map have been heaping immense praise on the album for weeks now.  Most noticeably the crew at NPR’s All Songs Considered, as well as the folks at Stereogum, have essentially said it is one of the best rock albums in a while, and thus far Car Seat Headrest has been proving them right with single after single of solid rock music.  “Fill in the Blank” is the opening track of Teens of Denial and is a wonderful start and stop catchy rock song that is most fun to listen to when turned up really loud.  Teens of Denial is out 5/20 via Matador.


KAYTRANADA – “Glowed Up” feat. Anderson Paak

KAYTRANADA has been collaborating on other artists’ songs for a long time and is finally set to drop his debut album 99.9% on 5/6 via XL.  “Glowed Up” finds KAYTRANADA tapping into the unstoppable force of energy of 2016, otherwise known as Anderson Paak, who has been collaborating on tracks with almost everyone and also released one of the best albums of the year thus far with Malibu.  Despite the already countless really good tracks Paak has been on, “Glowed Up” may be the best yet as it essentially two fantastic tracks in one.  The first part finds Paak rapping expertly over dreamy synth layers.  All of a sudden about halfway into the song, the music drastically changes and so does Paak’s delivery.  The synths now settle into a deep groove and Paak once again proves his double threat vocal status as he beautifully croons out the rest of the song.  This is an exciting song, which reveals more of itself with each repeated listen, and also makes the upcoming album from KAYTRANADA something to look forward to.


PAWS – “No Grace”

PAWS is a pop-punk trio from Scotland who are prepping their debut album No Grace, which is out 6/17 on FatCat Records.  The song “No Grace” is one of the catchiest and best examples of a top notch pop-punk song.  It’s loud and fast and the vocals fly along at a incredibly fast pace, culminating in a catchy, heavy chorus.  Perhaps the most fun tidbit about PAWS and their upcoming album is that it was produced by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, which is evident in the overall sound of the track.  This is seriously good pop-punk music arriving just in time for the sunny days of summer.


Full Playlist



Vancouver’s Bear Mountain is on tour now in support of their critically acclaimed debut album XO out now on Last Gang. The band’s fall tour will include shows supporting Islands, MS MR and co-headling dates with The Belle Game. The upcoming tour will also include stops at U.S. festivals including Austin City Limits and New York’s CMJ Music Marathon.

09.24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel +

09.25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Constellation Room +

09.26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts +

09.27 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah +

09.28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Honeycut

09.30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bardot

10.06 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits

10.07 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *

10.08 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse *

10.09 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues *

10.11 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Austin ^

10.13 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits

10.16 – 10.19 – New York, NY @ CMJ

10.22 – Quebec City, QC @ L’Autre Zone %

10.23 – Montreal, QC @ The Divan Orange %

10.24 – Wakefield, QC @ The Black Sheep Inn %

10.25 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake %

10.26 – Kingston, ON @ Clark Hall Pub %

10.27 – Hamilton, ON @ Club Absinthe %

10.28 – London, ON @ Call The Office %

10.30 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s %

10.31 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick Lounge %

11.01 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle %

11.02 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cause Spirits %

11.03 – Winnipeg, MB @ Union Sound Hall %

11.04 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos %

11.05 – Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop %

11.06 – Calgary, AB @ Broken City %

11.09 – Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theatre %

+ Supporting Islands

* Supporting MS MR

^ Supporting STRFKR

% Co-headlining w/ The Belle Game