There is something to be said about Islands and it's that they are one of the most fun bands around. Their first album Return to the Sea is a delightful mix of what Nick Thorburn did with his prior group, The Unicorns, and something a little more cohesive. Don't get me wrong, The Unicorns album is stellar in every way possible, but it seemed to be a stepping stone to what Islands does as a band. They mix more textures and structure to it's pop music and definitely a vibe that seems a little more thought out. I could be totally wrong here, but proof positive is the power that "Rough Gem" has over it's listener. Thanks to a little online MP3 swap called Nighthawks that a friend of ours started, I was introduced to this slice of synth pop. The song is a dancey number laden with strings, synths, bleeps and bloops throughout and one of the most kinetic bass lines I've heard from a band such as this.
"Rough Gem" is the kind of song as I mentioned before like "Carrot Rope" and "Mr. Blue Sky" that can immediately bring a smile to my face. It reminds me of better days, of frivolous times post college and of reveling in the bright and sunny goodness of life. The line "I had a dream it was all a dream" really hits home to me sometimes as life sometime seems like a dream but it's reality. This song gives you those emotions. What "Rough Gem" does is kind of set a time and place in my life. It's like a hash mark of a time of change, renewal and progressing greatness in all things. Since hearing the song, life has been just that much brighter.
Up Next: Dinosaur Jr. dust off their fossilized past to come back with a searing rocker