Ten years on, Islands is celebrating the release of their seminal 2006 debut album Return to the Sea with a classy anniversary reissue. Remastered for vinyl and pressed as a 180g 45rpm 2LP-set, it has never sounded better. The artwork has received a tasteful touch-up as well, with gatefold packaging, printed inner sleeves, never before release archival photos, and an in depth essay about the album's creation by Mr. Diamonds himself.
The following excerpt is from that essay: "For years, I maintained a distance to this record, and considered overhauling it entirely. After Jamie and I had assembled the band to perform the songs live in the fall of 2005, I wanted to re-record everything with them. When the 10th anniversary of the record's release started rolling around in the spring of 2016, I strongly considered doing a reimagined remix, losing excess instrumentation and caking my vocals in a more professional gloss.
"For ages I bristled at the record's flaws; my squeaky, earnest vocals, drums and guitars that sounded meek when I wanted them to sound heavy, precious lyrics, naive melodies. No, this record isn't anywhere near perfect, and nor should anything earthly be. I've only started to realize that this record's imperfections are exactly what cradles its meaning and curiosities, its heart and spirit. Here it is again. Back in my arms or under my wings, the waves licking our ankles, ready to head back out again."