Feb 16, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Matt Horseman
A deep sense of place is infused throughout Dark Island, the new album from Canadian folk rock quartet Villages. The band’s sophomore album was written as a tribute to their native Cape Breton Island, a Nova Scotian enclave tucked away in the far northeast corner of the province. The record paints a vivid portrait of the band’s home, capturing the rocky and wild nature of the island’s landscape, as well as the euphoria of a long-overdue homecoming.
Produced by JUNO-winning composer and producer Joshua Van Tassel the record sees the band playing with the roots of indie and folk music, building a vibrant blend of traditional Celtic aesthetics with a crackling indie rock energy. The band have spent the past year playing off of that sweet and charming folk niche with their previous singles, “Love Will Live On” and “Play the Fiddle All Night.” The full album is out tomorrow, February 17th, but ahead of the record’s release, the band is sharing a final track, “Wearing Through the Pine,” premiering with Under the Radar.
All of Dark Island was recorded live off the floor, and tracks like “Wearing Through the Pine” take full advantage of that sparkling energy, opening up the record with rollicking melodies and warm lyricism. The entire track is delivered with a joyous pastoral charm, captured in the vivid colors of the band’s lilting instrumentals. It feels like the first sunny day after weeks of winter cold, offering a hopeful new beginning, an effect that is equally mirrored in the lyrics一“Good morning / I don’t anymore, care to wake and tread the boards / I’m wearing through the pine / Such little little time, and little by little I’m / Wearing through the pine / Perhaps today to feel is just fine.”
The band simply say of the song, “Life is hard and only getting harder. So perhaps some days, to just feel anything, is fine.”
Check out the track early below. Dark Island is out everywhere on February 17th via Sonic Records.