Islands/Nick Thorburn 5 Song Pack Release!

As far as indie artists go, my favourite musician in the scene since I was very young has always been Nick Thorburn. He is a Canadian musician and had a breakthrough with his band The Unicorns that had only one album before breaking up. The most well-known song I Was Born (A Unicorn) is already here on the database and was even featured in many Crayola commercials in the mid-2000s. With the album still being very popular with many listeners of indie rock music, the band seemingly broke up before they could establish a greater success. I personally feel that Nick’s later work is overlooked by most, with many projects that he started after the breakup of the Unicorns being extremely well done and filled with creative energy. His main project is Islands, which is easily one of my favourite indie acts of all time, touching on a variety of sounds from album to album. Seeing how there is not enough representation of Nick’s work on the database, I thought it would be a good idea to do a pack that showcases a good range of his talents and get some of my favourites by him on the database.

The first song of the pack was one I knew I’d immediately have to do. Probably the biggest song released by Islands, Rough Gem comes from their first album Return to the Sea. This album did gain a fair bit of attention on release and probably one of the only works of Nick’s outside of The Unicorns to receive the praise it deserves. I knew immediately this song would be a blast to play on every instrument, with wildly varied parts for drums, bass, and especially vocals. The guitar part is great as well. Although only being present for the second half of the song, it does feature a solo.
Probably my favourite song out of the bunch, Abominable Snow originated as a Unicorns track that was never recorded in a studio. Coming from the epic, amazingly orchestrated magnum-opus album Arm’s Way, it is a song that features many different sections that are all woven together perfectly, making for an extremely fun play. All instruments are a blast, and once again, the vocals stand out as being quite enjoyable. Maybe one day I will have to get to this song for a harmonies upgrade too!
The slowest song of the bunch, This Is Not A Song comes from Island’s fourth album, A Sleep & A Forgetting. The album is a beautifully sad look into the loss of love in a very honest and thoughtful way. It serves as a more relaxing song to play on rock band, but is still varied enough to be a fun warm up, especially on guitar.
Going backwards, I felt I should put at least one Unicorns song in this pack as well. I chose one of my favourites by them that doesn’t actually feature Nick as the lead vocals, but the other vocalist in the band, Alden Penner. The song really showcases the group’s quirky songwriting style, making for a solid play all around.
Easily the least known song of the bunch, this track comes from a widely unknown album titled I Am An Attic released under Nick’s old Unicorn’s stage name Nick Diamonds. For some reason, this album has always hit me very hard despite being quite simple, opting for programmed drums and a greater emphasis on synthesizers. It might be my most listened to project of Nick’s in total. His recognizable guitar tone is still all over this album, and has some especially nice parts on this track to play.

That concludes the pack! I hope those of you who are familiar with Nick’s work appreciate this selection of songs, and maybe those of you who are unfamiliar or who have only checked out The Unicorns can find some enjoyment out of these tracks as well. There are many more songs and projects I could pull songs from, but due to the fact that one of these songs were an easy task to complete, these are the ones I have done for now. Hope you all enjoy!

Related Articles

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Back to top button