Exploring Both Sides of Islands

By Christine Séguin — Mon, 16/05/2016 - 08:20

Nick Thorburn and Montreal's Islands have graced us with good luck by releasing not one but two full length albums on Friday, May 13. Taste, their sixth album is an exploration in electronica, backed with drum machines and vintage synths. Their seventh album, Should I Remain Here At Sea? Is considered a spiritual sequel to their debut work Return to the Sea which was released in 2006. The album reflects on the decade past in a stripped down and raw fashion, with some of the tracks recorded in one take. Both works reflect the band's classic exploration of dark themes such as loneliness, disillusionment and ennui, all with an edge of tart humour. Nick and co. are currently touring in support of these albums and will be performing at Ritual night club on Tuesday May 17.

I got a taste of Thorburn’s cheeky sense of humour through an email Q & A that you can check out below.

Christine Séguin: Tell me about the process for writing not one but two records.  Were they done separately or simultaneously?

Nick Thorburn: The records were cut side by side (or as they say in Quebec, side by each). We very quickly came to the realization that there were essentially two sets of songs and each song fit pretty nicely into two columns; one a poppier, more synthesizer n' drum machine based set and the other more natural and live off the floor with no synthesizers and plenty of guitars.

CS: Tell me about your experiences playing shows and festivals in Ottawa.

NT: Our last show in Ottawa was at Bluesfest in 2010. We were a little too blues-y for the fest and they haven't asked us back since. This show is going to be a lot cheerier so don't be put off by our occasional sad transgressions!

CS: Tell me about your dream collaboration.  Is there anyone else you would love to work with? Any collaborations you would like to revisit?

NT: I would like to work with the writer Lydia Davis on song lyrics, Madlib and El-P on production and Chilly Gonzales on composition.

I'd also like to revisit my collaboration with Jim Guthrie. We put out a record in 2008 under the name Human Highway and I think by 2018 we should probably put out our sophomore release.

CS: After composing themes for Serial, are you interested in composing themes for other story based mediums such as film or television?

NT: Yep. You got a gig for me?

CS: No Nick, I don’t but I am looking forward to seeing the band perform at Ritual on May 17th.

In the meantime check out their single. “No Milk No Sugar” from Taste. And don't miss their show Tuesday at Mavericks!

Islands with Lushlife
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Ritual Nightclub

Photo: Christian Faustus

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