"Return To The Sea"

(Equator Records 2006)Islands - Return To The Sea

From the ashes of the short lived band The Unicorns, members Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambeur have reunited for a new project. Recorded in 2005, the Islands' debut full-length release "Return To The Sea" is often light and whimsical as it blends full traditional music from an ensemble of strings and horns with drum machines, washboards and other instruments.

Horns parade over the lilting melody of the vivid "Humans" as a slow interlude brings 50s pop ballads to mind. Pounding with a sinister tone, spoken word and rap speed recklessly, barely staying in control, on "Where There's A Will There's A Whalebone," an odd track that stands out as completely unique to the album. Steel drums add a light and upbeat feel -- that does their moniker proud -- to "Jogging Gorgeous Summer" as The Islands return to perky melodies. After warning you that the world will end in 2007, "Volcanoes" takes a quiet stance, light country style instrumentation thumping before strings swoon and the track builds to fullness, while "If" slowly floats on a gentle melody.

The Islands put forth an understated collection of songs that speaks volumes and draws you in with its amiable quality on "Return To The Sea." A combination of rock, folk and country, The Islands come across as an experimental mix that finds the best of those worlds and seamlessly melds them together. Like a calm day on the beach, The Islands' "Return To The Sea" is calm and collected but you know there is always a strong wave to offer some unpredictability.


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