Nick Thorburn promises he wasn't trying to cash in on his divorce with Islands' decidedly downcast new album, "A Sleep & a Forgetting."
"Writing songs is what I know how to do," explains Thorburn, 30, who founded the group during 2005 in Montreal. "That's an outlet for me, obviously. So dealing with that time in my life, I think it was a good thing, a cathartic thing.
"It wasn't at any point me trying to monetize my emotions or wallow in a kind of self-pity for public display. It was just...honest."
Thorburn wrote the songs for "A Sleep..." after moving from New York to Los Angeles. More than the setting, however, he says the songs were informed by his choice of instrument -- piano, which he didn't now how to play before and had never used as a songwriting tool.
"It was something new for me to use to express myself in a way I hadn't before," says Thorburn, adding that he's considering taking some formal piano lessons in the future. "I was coming at it from an exploratory, intuitive -- I don't want to say child-like but a sort of naive place.
"It's an incredible instrument. I probably utilize one one-thousandth of it potential. I'm not shedding any new light on it; I was just tinkering. But for me it was great. It was definitely a different way to think about songwriting and constructions of songs, which is what I needed at the time."
Islands, Idiot Glee and Prussia perform Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Magnetic Recording, 17 W. Lawrence St. Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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