Nick Diamonds' polymorphous pop band, Islands, is back with their third studio album, Vapours. The 2006 debut, Return to the Sea, found eccentric and mellifluous pop tunes performed with a cast of characters from Montreal's thriving music scene (including members of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade), helmed by Nick Diamonds and Jamie Thompson. Thompson departed amicably from the group shortly after the album was released, and 2007's Arm's Way found the band turning in a new direction towards lushly orchestrated, guitar-driven prog-rock. Thompson has returned to the band for Vapours, a record that flits back and forth between moody synthesizers and drum-machine-heavy beats, while remaining firmly rooted in the classic pop sensibilities and multitude of melodic hooks that Islands is known for.
Produced by Nick Diamonds and Chris Coady (who has worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blonde Redhead, TV On The Radio, among others), this is the group's most stunning work to date.