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Albums Of The Week: Islands | And That’s Why Dolphins Lost Their Legs

Nick Thorburn and co. do more with less on their moody and melodic ninth outing.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If Islands’ last record Islomania was a Saturday Night Fever dream, then this followup — the ninth entry in their catalog — is the Sunday morning comedown.

Taking a giant leap forward, replete with addictive hooks at every turn, And That’s Why Dolphins Lost Their Legs stands out as perhaps the strongest and most articulate Islands record yet. Nick Thorburn and band manage to slyly tap into both the pain and the joy of living, often simultaneously, while stripping the music down to its simplest element: A strange sample rubbing up against a bouncing bassline, a snappy kick and snare firing off against a persistent, hooky guitar line.

Though refined and deliberate, the music has a certain playfulness that Thorburn hasn’t tapped into in quite some time. The record is a notable departure from previous outings, but the DNA of Thorburn’s early work, namely his first band The Unicorns, can be heard clearly throughout songs like Headlines, Life’s A Joke and And All You Can Do is Laugh.

And That’s Why Dolphins Lost Their Legs, which came together over a methodical, carefully considered multi-year process, continues Thorburn’s fruitful collaboration with co-producer Patrick Ford (!!!), and features production on a few songs from Chris Coady (Beach House) and Mike Stroud (Ratatat).”