After speeding through the past few years with an appetite for shoegaze electronic rock, A Sleep & A Forgetting finds Islands taking shelter in low-key tempos that oddly interject a unique puzzle piece into their career. Working from a more nostalgic place, it’s more handsome and groovy than one would expect from the Montreal act , but as Nicholas Thorburn ages, so does his songwriting with his ink soaking up love, loss and reflection. At times, the subtle wails on “Lonely Love” and “Oh Maria” are too relaxed, making it forgettable and forcing the record to wade in it’s own constructed despair but where Forgetting gets lost in its own daydream, it finds reality again with hazy jazz depressors (“This Is Not A Song”) and resonant choruses (“Never Go Solo”, “Don’t I Love You”) that protrude Thorburn’s acceptance of his actions and mistakes. It’s not quite an open love letter with no address, but it’s a open wound where a few of the sonics surrounding it resurrect memories to life.
Download: “This Is Not A Song”, “Same Thing”
[Find updates on album reviews, music news and videos on Twitter]