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Ski Mask

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iTunes Review

Nick Thorburn’s creative streak continues under all circumstances. His divorce fueled the down-and-out reflections from the previous year’s A Sleep & a Forgetting and casts an emotional hangover on Ski Mask. With the exception of the ebullient “Wave Forms,” the general tone here is of anger and frustration. The lyrics paint a picture, but the music colors in the feeling; whether it’s the complicated guitar-keyboard knots of “Death Drive” or the ennui-loaded, Triffids-like reverb tinting the somber balladry of “Becoming the Gunship,” there’s a beautiful but futile sense to living. The manic “Nil” sounds like a fake smile being flashed before the existential “Sad Middle” scrolls through a variety of rhythms amid the lonely synth line driving the song. This type of push-pull throughout the album creates ambivalent moments where one's never sure where Thorburn is aiming. “Hushed Tones,” “Shotgun Vision," and “Of Corpse” are dark epiphanies accompanied by melodies and arrangements that differ greatly from verse to chorus to bridge. Try keeping up.

Customer Reviews


I am absolutely thrilled to see Islands put out an album after quite a few years of waiting! To all those confused about the silence in the previews, there seems to be an iTunes problem with the song preview. If you just commit and purchase the album, you won't regret it and you will get to experience another great Islands album. Though I will say, for me, it is tough to match the song Swans. I will be giving Ski Mask a few listens before I can say much more but if I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring one song with me, Swans may be a top consideration. Way to go, Islands! Thank you!

Great Album

I was hesitant at first with this album. Once I saw them live and heard a few songs my opinion changed heavily. I bought the record and now am purchasing on here for quick access. I read an interview that came across quite sad to me, Nick was talking about how he/they haven't reached the popularity as certain other bands. Its a shame, because this is one of the best bands I've ever listened to. I hope they find the success they are looking for because it would be a shame if Nick gives up. Islands are forever! Unicorns are people too!


I am obsessed with this album, I bought the record awhile ago and seen them live, and I can truly say that they are one of my favorite bands EVER!


Formed: 2005 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After the breakup of experimental lo-fi indie rock band the Unicorns, members Nicholas Thorburn (aka Nick Diamonds; vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Jamie Thompson (aka J'aime Tambeur; drums) formed Islands, which found the two more focused on brighter production and neo-psychedelic indie pop. Since forming in early 2005, the Canadian band has also featured a fluctuating lineup of contributors on a wide variety of instruments, both in concert and on record. That list includes Alex and Sebastian Chow...
Full Bio