Islands A Sleep & a Forgetting

IslandsA Sleep & a Forgetting
"I could never hide/All the sadness inside," Islands frontman Nick Thorburn sings on shuffling opener "In a Dream (It Seemed Real)." This melancholic first track sets the tone for A Sleep & a Forgetting, which is by far the most emotionally raw album the typically quirky songwriter has ever made. His signature morbid humour is all but gone, replaced by sad-sack breakup songs and downtempo R&B ballads. The mood is lightened somewhat by the barrelling barroom piano of "Hallways," but the feeling is one of despair. When Thorburn sings, "I don't feel sad and I cannot cry," on the glum "No Crying," you won't believe him, especially when his voice cracks with emotion just a few bars later. Weepy tunes such as this don't thrill in the same way as some of Thorburn's past work, but they make for some effectively poignant rainy day listening and are another compelling addition to the songwriter's eclectic catalogue. (Anti)