In mid-2005 Islands recorded a debut album titled Return to the Sea, which was released in April 2006. The album was recorded in Montreal, Canada, at Breakglass Studio and in Jamie Thompson’s bedroom, and was produced by audio engineer/record producer Mark Lawson.
Return to the Sea was re-mastered in England for the European version of the album, and was released there by Rough Trade Records on April 3, 2006. In North America, the album was released on the upstart label Equator Records on April 4, 2006. The cover of the album is one of Caspar David Friedrich’s famous paintings, The Wreck of the Hope.

The album features numerous guest appearances, including members of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. Two songs, “Flesh” and “Abominable Snow”, were released to the public through The Simple Mission in June 2004, though neither appeared on the debut album. “Abominable Snow” had begun life as a song performed live by the Unicorns prior to their breakup.

Return to the Sea has been described by Nick as having “some dancehall influences, some calypso… It’s more diverse and sprawling and ambitious” and is “A bit more mature than The Unicorns… More of a Neil Young / Brian Wilson vibe running through it.”

The band played various shows around the US and Canada throughout mid-late 2005, followed by an opening slot for Metric on their early 2006 tour. After Return to the Sea was released in April 2006, the band embarked on their first full headlining tour, playing small clubs around the US and Canada throughout May. They were joined by Cadence Weapon and Why? on the first half of the tour, and Cadence Weapon and Busdriver on the second. The band generally received critical acclaim for their live shows, which sometimes ended with the band leading the audience out of the venue “pied piper style” and onto the surrounding streets.

Positions in Islands consist of Nicholas Thorburn (main vocals, synthesizer, guitar), Aaron Harris (drums), Sebastian Chow (xylophone, violin), Alex Chow (synthesizer, violin), Patrick Gregoire (guitar, bass clarinet) and Patrice Agbokou (bass guitar).

Nick Thorburn Shares Music from Podcast "Serial,"

Nick Thorburn Shares New Music from “Serial”

The creators of WBEZ’s “This American Life” recently launched the celebrated radio show’s first-ever spinoff, a weekly podcast called “Serial.” Its first season, which kicked off earlier this month, features original music composed by Nick Thorburn, best known for his bands Islands and The Unicorns. Thorburn has now made all fifteen original tracks from the podcast, which are available:

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Islands premiere tour video for single "Shotgun Vision" in preparation for new Canadian and US Tours. "Shotgun Vision" comes from last year's "Ski Mask".

Islands Premiere Video For Canadian Tour

Filmed earlier this year at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown, CA, this live video for “Shotgun Vision” is a momentary glimpse into Islands’ live show. It was shot by Andy Melo and directed by Matt Goodhue. In support of last fall’s release, Ski Mask, Islands are hitting both Canadian coasts for a series of shows in cities including Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver…

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Islands Release New Video for "Wave Forms". Latest album "Ski Mask" is now out on Manque.

Islands Release New Video for “Wave Forms”

Today, Islands is excited to release their new video for “Wave Forms.” Directed by Strike Anywhere, the beautifully shot video follows Islands as they join a lone roller skater (played by Cory Zacharia) as he rolls through the streets of Lancaster, California. Zacharia has been a recurring character,

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Michael Cera, Bill Hader, More Featured in Islands Mockumentary, Band on Tour. "Ski Mask" is now out.

Islands Mockumentary Features Michael Cera

Watch Rock ’n Roll Legends Take on Islands Album Historical Rock Doc Features Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, and More. Islands On Tour This Fall with Stops In Los Angeles, Chicago, Philly, New York, and many more.

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Islands' frontman Nick Thorburn chats with Julie Colero from Northern Trnsmissions. "Ski Mask" by Islands is now out.

Unmasking Islands Frontman Nick Thorburn

Islands frontman Nick Thorburn took a few patient moments to explain to Northern Transmission’s Julie Colero how a mellotron works and how its sound, combined with the cosmic delivery of the perfect cover art, came to shape the band’s latest album, Ski Mask.

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Islands Release New Single "Becoming the Gunship," New Album + Tour This Fall

Islands Release Single “Becoming the Gunship”

With the release of their latest record on the horizon, Islands is excited to reveal their latest single, “Becoming the Gunship.” Drawn from the band’s upcoming record, Ski Mask (Sept. 17th – Manque Music), the track’s genesis is rooted in a dream of lead singer Nick Thorburn’s.

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Islands stream new single "Wave Forms" from upcoming album "Ski Mask" out September 17 on Manque Music

Islands Reveal New LP “Ski Mask” + U.S. Tour

Islands has revealed the details of their upcoming record, Ski Mask, set for release on Sept. 17th on frontman and principle songwriter Nick Thorburn’s Manqué label. To coincide with the announcement, Islands has made the record’s first single, “Wave Forms

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