July 8, 2010
Vancouver’s Said The Whale have returned with a full-length album that is prepared to swallow you whole. Islands Disappear shines in lyrics and instrumentation, spread across a sea of reflection, growing up on the West Coast where girls sometimes flee to Ontario and we leave our homes sooner than we ever imagined we would.
The title track is equal parts moody and magical and features an array of subtle instruments from trombones, mellotron’s, trumpet and saxophones. Throughout the album, notable female musicians guest sing, such as Hannah Georgas on “Out on the Shield” and “B.C. Orienteering” and Rah Rah’s Erin Passmore on the beautiful, enigmatic “A Cold Night Close to the End.” “Goodnight Moon” is a collaboration and a ton of fun, featuring guests including Dan Mangan, Hey Ocean’s Ashleigh Ball and David Beckingham, and Shane Nelken, to name only a few, singing “you’ve got so much love.”
The album ends with the aforementioned “Holly, Ontario,” a somber track that showcases the band’s elegance. It’s short and sweet, lasting long enough to leave us wanting more without overstaying its welcome. Islands Disappear is a beautiful, inspired record that delivers intelligence and awareness similar artists lack. A collection of songs that simultaneously move you and get you moving. Solid and well done.
TTTT (out of 5)