Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
The ocean and its mysterious depths have captivated artists across all disciplines, offering endless opportunity for metaphor and, well, reflection. On Islands, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Erin Durant takes her turn, singing about heading toward the water to find clarity. Though her songs are peppered with mentions of places like New Orleans, Mississippi, and Joshua Tree, she finds herself searching, again and again, for answers to life’s big questions in the turbulent surf.
Durant treads lightly through songs that ponder love and personal growth, her airy voice perfectly matched to arrangements that mix delicate pop and folk. (At times, her gentle warble recalls folk superstar Alison Krauss.) She keeps her tempos even-keeled, from the loose cha-cha pacing of “Good Ol’ Night” to the last-call slow dance of “Take a Load Off.” On the title track, a bittersweet island getaway is interrupted by heartbreak, but she follows her pain with an appeal for reconciliation in “Another Town,” singing, “So if you’re walking down the road and see me waving my hands / Can you help me with the load and let me tell you that I love you again.”
The songs are fleshed out with assistance from Kath Bloom on harmonica, and TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone—who also produced the LP—on electric guitar, keys, and percussion. And while Islands may not be a feel-good, hit-of-the-summer record, its gentle songs and hopeful lyrics provide ample opportunities for escape.