Dustin Bentall & the Smokes 'You Are an Island' (album stream)

Dustin Bentall & the Smokes 'You Are an Island' (album stream)
Vancouver songwriter Dustin Bentall is closely associated with roots music, but he aimed for something more hard-hitting and rock-influenced when making his new album, You Are an Island. It's out on July 2 through Aporia Records, and it's available to stream ahead of time on Exclaim.ca.

The album was produced by Ryan Dahle of Limblifter/Age of Electric and features Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother. It's considered the "sister album" to 2012's Orion EP, since it represents the completion of work that Dahle and Bentall previously began.

Bentall said in a statement. "Ryan [Dahle] was great because we agreed early in the project that he would give any suggestion that he thought of and I would be open to take whatever I wanted from it, agree with him or not, and we would be cool with it. He didn't hold anything back, anything he thought of. He would criticize melodies, lyrics, anything he thought of. Often, it was great. Sometimes I would be, like: 'No, I'm not changing that.' But he pulled us away from the 'root/five' standard kinda country song, and that was a big thing."

The songs range from the "Lust for Life"-style pop bounce of "Just Be My Friend" to the reverb-tinged atmospherics of the title track.

Check out the album below and see Bentall's tour schedule here, where you can also read Exclaim!'s new interview with Bentall.