Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Shining” by Islands from the 2009 album Vapours on Anti- Records.
Vapours is the third album from Montreal Quebec sextet Islands. Their 2006 debut, Return to the Sea, featured multiple guest appearances from members of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade, bands that make good reference points for fans new to Islands. The band is mostly the brainwork mostly of ex-Unicorns vocalist Nick Diamonds and was reportedly inspired originally by Paul Simon, though they now sound more traditionally American rock than Afropop. In fact, Islands have traveled from the African rhythms of Return to the Sea to the lush orchestration and challenging compositions of Arms Way to the synth-heavy pop of Vapours. This new album also marks the return of Jamie Thompson, the original drummer, who left the band just after their first album was released. Maybe it was just the break they needed because their reunion seems to have done something great for their music. Hmm, maybe Islands really are forever.
You can listen to additional songs on their MySpace page. The band is currently on tour and is scheduled to play in Seattle @ Chop Suey on October 19th and are playing live on KEXP that afternoon at 1PM. For comparison, check out the more prog-like sound of “The Arm” as performed live at SXSW last year: