Islands

Released:

Tracks

  1. True Story
  2. Annabel
  3. Buzzkill
  4. Confessions In the Pool
  5. All That I Have Left
  6. Don’t Need Your Love
  7. Somersault
  8. Did Your Love Burn Out?
  9. Silver Suit
  10. It’s a Trap
  11. Is It True?
  12. Incoming Waves

The CD edition of the album includes the hidden track “Easy Girl”, which plays after two minutes of silence at the end of “Incoming Waves”.

Alernative versions

Japanese Edition

The Japanese version of the album was released on the same day through Universal Music (Cat Number HSE-4542). It contains the original twelve track album plus two bonus tracks.

Release details

  • Label: Infectious Music
  • Catalogue number: INFECT423
  • Formats: CD. 12” vinyl. Metallic silver 12” vinyl. Cassette. Digital.
  • Charts: UK: 18. Ireland: 34. Scotland: 13. UK vinyl: 8.
  • Producer: Tim Wheeler
  • Recorded: Atomic Heart Studios

Info

The album was released on the newly reformed Infectious Music, who under the name Infectious Recordings, first signed the band back in 1994 and released the band’s first five studio albums. In another neat piece of symmetry, Stephen Taverner also returned to direct the band’s business dealings once again.

The artwork depicts Skellig Michael, one of the Skellig Islands, which are located off the South West Coast of Ireland. The cover is another nod to the band’s love for Star Wars as various scenes from Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi were filmed on the islands.

The title of the album alludes to the unique environments in which the songs were written. In the spring of 2016, following a whirlwind Japanese tour to close out the touring cycle for 2015’s Kablammo! album, Ash frontman Tim Wheeler undertook a visit to the picturesque island of Naoshima, renowned worldwide for its modern art installations, architecture and sculptures. Wheeler found the island’s tranquil, meditative atmosphere conducive to both reflection and creativity, and as he immersed himself in his craft, new song ideas began to ferment and flow.

Back in Manhattan these writing sessions continued with Wheeler embarking upon disciplined, song-writing exercises, challenging himself to write a song every hour for ten hours. In the wake of a difficult, traumatic break-up, Tim took further field trips to Deià, Mallorca – the former home of poet and author Robert Graves – to Santorini, Greece and to Lambay Island, off the coast of North Dublin. Each journey coloured Wheeler’s song-writing in new and distinct ways as he sought to document, address and resolve the emotional fall-out of his broken relationship in his art. The results emerged as some of the most powerful, personal, heartfelt and affecting songs of Ash’s career, with Wheeler laying bare his emotions in unflinching detail.

Quotes

The album is described by the band as:

“An open-hearted set of songs dealing with love and loss, friendship and betrayal, identity, salvation, redemption and rebirth”.

Tim Wheeler on the bands confidence in the songs:

“We wanted to make a classic album. For the first time, we knew that every song we were starting was going to end up on the record: we’ve never had so much confidence in the material from the outset.”